RECAP | Dominant Second Half Performance Leads to Win Over Earlham

Photo courtesy of Renee Knight
Photo courtesy of Renee Knight

FRANKLIN, Ind. – After a pair of road games against the top two teams in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference (HCAC), the Franklin College men's basketball team returned to action at home on Saturday (Jan. 13) afternoon with a showdown against Earlham College on Alumni Day inside the Spurlock Center.

Down by as many as 11 points in the first half, the Grizzlies (4-11, 3-5 HCAC) fought back to usurp the Quakers (3-12, 1-7 HCAC) on Saturday afternoon Franklin had five players score in double figures and the team shot 62.5 percent (15-for-24) from the floor in the second half, pulling away for a 102-91 win. 

Senior John Beineke led all players with 25 points on the night and Borden Kennedy chipped in with a career-high 21 for Franklin. The duo was joined in double figures by Jordan Anderson (18 pts), Sam Gutierrez (18 pts) and Kale Morris (12 pts) as Franklin generated offense from every spot on the floor on Saturday afternoon.

"We had a really good balance of getting the ball inside and creating offense off the dribble tonight," Head coach Kerry Prather noted after the game. "I give our players a lot of credit for generating offense both ways tonight. We made good decisions and were really dialed in offensively. We also did a great job getting to the free throw line and taking advantage of our chances there."

Early on, it was the Quakers that snatched control of the game, ripping off an 11-2 run to take an 18-10 lead at the 12:35 mark of the opening half. Earlham's lead would be at its largest with 6:46 to play in the opening period after a Jamel Barnes jumper made it a 35-24 game.

But the Grizzly offense would find its footing late in the first half, knocking down 8-of-9 field goals to close out the first half. Back-to-back layups right before the buzzer brought the Grizzlies within a point at 46-45 at halftime.

Franklin took their first lead of the second half less than four minutes in courtesy of a Beineke three-point play that made it 57-56 game. Later in the half, six straight points from Kennedy and a long three from Anderson gave the Grizzlies their largest lead to that point at 70-63 with a little less than 13 minutes to play.

The Quakers refused to go away, getting back within a point with seven minutes to go. But the Grizzlies put a half to Earlham's comeback bid with a 9-0 run that gave the Grizzlies their first double-digit lead of the night at 90-80 with 4:20 to play. Down the stretch, the Grizzlies went 7-for-8 at the line to put the game out of reach.

Franklin shot a season-best 57.9 percent (33-for-57) from the floor on Saturday afternoon, going 7-for-19 from three and 29-for-38 from the free throw line. Four Quakers reached double figures on the day as Earlham connected on 47.8 percent (32-for-67) of their field goals.

Beineke not only got within 11 points of the 1,000-point club on Saturday afternoon, but he led all players with eight rebounds as well. Franklin finished the day with a 39-27 edge on the glass and a 46-38 advantage on points in the paint.

The Grizzlies will be back in action this coming Wednesday (Jan. 17) night, taking on Transylvania University in Franklin. Tip-off from the Spurlock Center is set for 7:30 p.m.