TERRE HAUTE, Ind. – The Franklin College men's basketball team wrapped up a brief two-game road trip on Wednesday (Jan. 10) night, hitting the road to take on another one of the top teams in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference (HCAC) in Rose-Hulman.
Down by 14 points with five minutes to go, the Grizzlies (3-11, 2-5 HCAC) clawed their way back into the game down the stretch and had a look at a game-tying basket in the final seconds. But the last-second effort would fall short as Rose-Hulman (8-6, 6-1 HCAC) escaped with a 69-66 win.
Sophomore Borden Kennedy eclipsed his previous career-high with 19 points on 8-for-17 shooting on Wednesday night. Senior John Beineke added 16 points and 13 rebounds for his second double-double of the year.
"I'm proud of our guys for battling to get back in the game," Head coach Kerry Prather said. "We have to get back in the gym and keep our confidence high heading into Saturday. Rose dares you to shoot the three and that kind of handcuffed us because we struggled from deep tonight. We're still not as consistent from three-point range as we need to be. We got off to a great start, had a bit of a tough stretch to start the second half but rebounded from it and gave ourselves a chance to win."
It was all Grizzlies in the early going, as Franklin recorded the first seven points of the night and led 15-6 at the 14:32 mark of the first half after a Kennedy layup. Franklin's lead would grow to as many as 12 in the opening half, but an 11-2 Rose-Hulman run pulled the hosts within a point at 23-22 with 7:21 left before the break.
The Engineers would take their first lead of the night late in the first half and carry a 37-35 edge into the locker room.
Rose-Hulman opened the second half with an 11-2 run to open their first double digit lead of the night at 48-37 just four minutes into the second half. The hosts' lead remained in double figures and with five minutes left to go, Rose held their largest lead of the night at 65-51.
With time running out, the Grizzlies furiously rallied with a 12-1 run to get right back in the game. A Kyle Meyer jumper made it a 67-65 game with a minute to play, and a Meyer free throw in the final minute cut the deficit to a single point.
Rose-Hulman knocked down a pair of free throws with 12 seconds left to stretch the lead to three. Franklin's Gavin Collier had a look at the game-tying bucket at the buzzer, but his shot glanced off the rim as the final horn sounded.
The Grizzlies shot 40 percent (24-for-60) on the going, connecting on just 3-of-15 three-pointers and 15-of-18 free throws. Charlie Aimone led the Engineers with 17 points on the night as Rose-Hulman shot 44 percent (22-for-50) from the field.
Rebounds were 38-32 in favor of the Grizzlies. Franklin finished with 15 offensive rebounds and out-score the Engineers 16-2 in second chance points. The Grizzlies' offense combined for 36 points in the paint to 26 for the Engineers.
Franklin returns home on Saturday (Jan. 13) afternoon, hosting Earlham College on Alumni Day inside the Spurlock Center. Tip-off is set for 2:00 p.m.