CRESTVIEW HILLS, Ky. – The Franklin College men's basketball team took the court for the final time before the holiday break on Tuesday (Dec. 19) night, taking on the Thomas More Saints inside the Connor Center.
For the second straight game, the Grizzlies (2-8) connected on more than half of their shots, knocking down a season-high 54.2 percent (26-for-48) of their field goals on the night. Jordan Anderson finished with a team-high 16 points for the Grizzlies, as Franklin had four players end the night in double-figures.
Thomas More (7-3) got a game-high 29 points from Damion King. The Saints shot 50.8 percent (31-for-61) from the floor on their way to the win.
Thomas More assumed an early lead with buckets on their first two possessions, but Franklin responded in a big way, ripping off a 14-0 run to that was capped by a three-point play by Sam Gutierrez at the 15:40 mark of the first half. Franklin's lead would balloon to 20-9 midway through the period following back-to-back threes from Anderson and Cameron King, giving the Grizzlies what would be their largest lead of the night.
The hosts began to chip away at the lead as the first half wound down, eventually battling back to re-take the lead with three minutes to go in the half. A three from Gutierrez made it 34-33 Franklin with 2:36 on the clock, but Thomas More would take a 39-37 lead into the locker room.
The two sides traded buckets on each of their first three possessions of the second half. The Saints held onto the lead until a quick 7-2 run put Franklin back in front at 57-55 with 12:14 left to go in the game. Franklin stayed in front until a 14-0 Thomas More run made it 76-65 Saints with 3:32 to play. That late run proved to be the difference as the Saints were able to keep the Grizzlies at bay the rest of the evening.
Franklin got 14 points from Kale Morris and 11 points from both Gutierrez and Danny Goggans. The Grizzlies knocked down 11-of-26 three-pointers and all seven of their free throw attempts on the night.
Rebounds were 31-23 in favor of the Saints. Gutierrez led all Franklin players with five boards on the night. Turnovers proved to be a major factor in the outcome of the game, as Thomas More held a 16-7 advantage in turnovers and a 23-8 edge in points off mistakes.
The Grizzlies will have 11 days off for the holiday break before resuming their season on Dec. 30. Franklin will head to nearby Crawfordsville, Ind. for a meeting with in-state rival Wabash College. Tip-off between the Grizzlies and Little Giants is set for 3:00 p.m.