BLUFFTON, Ohio – The Franklin College men's basketball team hit the road on Saturday (Dec. 15) afternoon to take on the Bluffton Beavers in their final Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference (HCAC) game of the calendar year.
The Grizzlies (3-6, 2-2 HCAC) saw their two-game winning streak come to an end at the hands of the Beavers (7-2, 3-1 HCAC), dropping a 74-52 contest. Franklin got 10 points each from Kyle Meyer and Jordan Anderson, but a big run late in the first half from the Beavers proved to be a hurdle too big to overcome for Franklin.
Both teams opened the game shooting the ball well, with each side knocking down at least half of their shots in the opening 10 minutes. The Beavers held the lead early on but back-to-back jumpers from Matt Krause and Meyer tied things up at 12 with 13 minutes to go in the half.
The teams traded threes on each of their next trips down the floor, but the first big run of the game followed shortly after when a 12-2 Bluffton run stretched the lead to double figures for the first time. Franklin answered with an 8-2 run of their own to get back within striking distance, riding two Anderson threes and a pair of Meyer free throws to cut the deficit to 29-25 with 4:45 to go in the half.
But the game's deciding run closed out the first half, with Bluffton out-scoring Franklin 14-0 over the final four minutes and change. The Grizzlies missed all five of their field goals late in the half and committed three turnovers while Bluffton went 6-for-9 and drilled four three-pointers during that stretch.
Franklin would get within 16 midway through the second half, but was unable to string together a big run and get the deficit within single digits. The Grizzlies shot 36.4 percent (20-for-55) from the floor on the afternoon, going 5-for-16 from three and 7-for-9 from the line.
Meyer grabbed eight boards and finished with a career-high three steals to lead Franklin in both categories while Sam Gutierrez handed out a team-high four assists. The Beavers held a 41-30 edge on the glass and an 11-6 advantage in the turnover battle.
Franklin returns to action on Monday (Dec. 17) night, hosting #22-ranked Wabash College in the first of two straight contests inside the Spurlock Center. Tip-off is set for 7:00 p.m.