CRAWFORDSVILLE, Ind. – Following a two-week hiatus for finals week and the holiday break, the Franklin College men's basketball team wrapped up their non-conference schedule on Saturday (Dec. 30) afternoon, taking on in-state rival Wabash College.
Freshman Danny Goggans recorded his second career double-double, finishing with 15 points and 11 rebounds to lead Franklin (2-9) in both categories. But a late surge from Wabash (5-6) proved to be the deciding factor as the Little Giants came away with a 74-66 win.
The Grizzlies knocked down five of their first six shots to take an early 10-6 lead just five minutes into the game. Franklin would get 14 of their first 15 points of the day in the pair before a three from Cameron King made it 18-14 Franklin with 9:19 left in the first half.
Franklin would knock down 52 percent (13-for-25) of their field goals in the first half, and take a 30-27 lead over the Little Giants into the locker room.
A Kale Morris three-pointer early in the second half gave the Grizzlies their largest lead of the day at 36-31. Wabash would answer with a 12-2 run over a four-minute stretch to take a 43-38 advantage with 14:35 to play. Franklin would re-group after a timeout, battling back to take a 49-48 lead with 11 minutes to play following a jumper from Kyle Meyer.
The game's decisive stretch came over the next seven minutes, as Wabash would knock down four three-pointers and seven free throws as part of a 21-8 run that gave the Little Giants a 69-57 lead with four minutes to play. Franklin would get within single digits late, but Wabash was able to close things out at the line.
The Grizzlies connected on 49.1 percent (26-for-53) of their shots on the night, going 2-for-8 from three-point land and 12-for-20 from the free throw line. John Beineke added 13 points for Franklin, trailed closely by Sam Gutierrez' 12-point night.
Wabash shot just 39.6 percent (21-for-53) from the field, but the Little Giants knocked down 11 three-pointers and went 21-for-29 from the line on the day.
The hosts held a 41-31 advantage in the rebounding battle, which included 15 offensive boards. Franklin notched a season-low turnover number on Saturday afternoon, coughing it up just nine times to 11 for Wabash. Franklin finished the day with a 34-20 advantage in the paint.
With their non-conference schedule in the rear-view mirror, the Grizzlies will turn their attention to 2018 and the remainder of Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference (HCAC) play. Franklin tips off 2018 on Wednesday, Jan. 3, when they host Manchester University at 7:30 p.m.