RECAP | Grizzlies Finish Strong, Earn Season Sweep of Anderson

Photo courtesy of Renee Knight
Photo courtesy of Renee Knight

FRANKLIN, Ind. – The Franklin College men's basketball team picked up a critical Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference (HCAC) win on Wednesday (Jan. 24) night, completing a season sweep of Anderson with a 76-72 win inside the Spurlock Center.

The Grizzlies (5-13, 4-7 HCAC) shook off a late second half run from the Ravens (9-9, 4-7 HCAC) and earn a big comeback win and move into sixth place in the HCAC standings.

"We were able to overcome a run late in the second half and that's something we haven't always been able to do this year," Head coach Kerry Prather said. "Tonight, we got it done because of our defense. We held them to under 40 percent shooting and we made plays when we needed them at both ends of the floor. To go out and get a win in a game that we needed is obviously big and gives us some momentum heading into the next stretch of games."

The teams traded buckets in the early going before the Ravens rattled off a 10-4 run to take their largest lead of the night at 21-12 with 8:45 to go in the opening half. The Grizzlies would buckle down on the defensive end to close the gap before the end of the first half, cutting the lead down to four at 35-31 after 20 minutes of play.

Anderson's lead would evaporate at the 14:38 mark of the second half when a John Beineke layup for the Grizzlies back in front for the first time since early in the game. With 7:50 to play and the score tied at 57, the Ravens ripped off a 10-2 run to go up 67-59 with 5:19 to play.

With the game slipping away, the Grizzlies responded in a big way with a furious rally down the stretch. Franklin held the Ravens to 2-for-10 from the floor over the final five minutes of play while rattling off a 14-2 run to take the lead for good. The Grizzlies went 7-for-8 from the line over the final minute to close out the win.  

Sophomore Borden Kennedy turned in a solid performance for the Grizzlies on Wednesday night, pouring in a team-high 19 points while adding six rebounds, six assists and three steals. Beineke added 13 points and 10 boards for his third double-double of the year. Kale Morris and Jordan Anderson had 10 points each on the night.

The Grizzlies connected on 47.4 percent (27-for-57) of their shots on Wednesday, going 4-for-16 from long range and a sparkling 18-for-21 from the free throw line. At the other end of the floor, the Franklin defense limited Anderson to 37.9 percent (25-for-66) shooting.

Anderson held a slim 39-38 edge in the rebounding battle as well as a 14-11 advantage in turnovers. Franklin finished with a 34-28 advantage on points in the paint, as well as a 15-9 edge in second chance points.

The Grizzlies will look for the second straight win on Saturday (Jan. 27) afternoon when they welcome Defiance College to the Spurlock Center for the second meeting between the two teams this year. Defiance claimed a 76-72 win back on Dec. 9 in Ohio.

Tip-off is set for approximately 4:00 p.m.