FRANKLIN, Ind. – The Franklin College men's basketball team stepped onto their home floor on Monday (Dec. 17) night for the first of their final two non-conference games of the 2018-19 season.
Standing in the Grizzlies' way was in-state foe, the No. 22-ranked Little Giants of Wabash College. Franklin (3-7) traded blows with the Little Giants (8-0) in the early going before Wabash pulled away late in the first half on their way to a 98-69 win.
"We really tried to emphasize playing with more energy after Saturday. We came back with better energy tonight but we're still searching for that all-hands-on-deck mentality. We did some things better today than we did on Saturday and it was a nice bounce-back in those areas against a really good team that doesn't beat itself. We just need to keep working through it and we'll have another chance to do that on Wednesday."
The action was fast-paced right from the opening tip, with Wabash jumping out to a 15-5 lead less than five minutes into the game. Franklin would shake off the early deficit by turning up the pressure on defense and holding the Little Giants to two field goals over a five-minute stretch. Franklin got back within a point thanks to a 12-3 run, pulling within 21-20 with 11:30 to go before the break.
But a cold stretch would follow for the Grizzlies over the next five minutes, allowing Wabash to rattle off an 18-3 run to take their biggest lead of the first half. The Grizzlies would chop the deficit to as little as 10 points before heading into the break trailing, 52-39.
After six quick Wabash points to open the second half, the Grizzlies kept the visitors in check for a four-minute stretch and following an 11-2 run the Grizzlies found themselves within striking distance at 60-49 with 15:17 showing on the clock. But four straight Wabash three-pointers followed the Franklin run, giving the Little Giants a lead they would continue to add to for the rest of the night.
Junior Jordan Anderson and sophomore Sam Gutierrez tied for the team lead with 15 points each and were the only two players in double figures for the Grizzlies. Franklin shot 39.4 percent (26-for-66) from the floor, knocking down 5-of-18 threes and 12-of-17 free throws.
Matt Krause led the Grizzlies with six rebounds, followed by five boards from Danny Goggans. Wabash held a 45-32 edge on the glass while the Grizzlies finished with 17 second chance points on 11 offensive boards. The Franklin bench out-scored the Little Giant reserves, 38-19.
The Grizzlies wrap up their non-conference schedule on Wednesday (Dec. 19) night, taking on Boyce College in their final game of the calendar year. Tip-off from the Spurlock Center is set for 6:00 p.m.