FRANKLIN, Ind. – After two tough road contests to open the year, the Franklin College men's basketball team stepped onto Spurlock Center floor for the team's home opener on Tuesday night against the Boyce College Bulldogs.
Playing in front of their home crowd proved to be just what the Grizzlies (1-2) needed, as Franklin took control of the game early and never let up. The Grizzlies would jump out to a double-digit lead early and never look back, knocking off the Bulldogs (0-6), 92-58.
Four Grizzlies finished in double figures on the night, led by a career-high 17 points from sophomore Jordan Anderson. John Beineke added 14 points and grabbed 14 rebounds for his first double-double of the year while Braxton Robertson and Kale Morris finished with 12 points each.
"The reason we were able to take command tonight as opposed to our first two games is that we defended much better from the start," Head coach Kerry Prather said after the game. "If we defend well, we can score because we're good in transition. We didn't hurt ourselves tonight either. Our discipline and fundamentals were great tonight and everyone gave us good minutes tonight."
Franklin came out firing, knocking down five of their first seven shot attempts as part of a 13-0 run to open the game. The lead wouldn't dip below 10 points for the rest of the first half, growing to as many as 24 points before the Grizzlies took a 47-27 edge into the intermission.
Braxton Robertson had 10 first half points as the Grizzlies, but it was Franklin's defense that stole the show as Boyce shot just 28.6 percent (8-for-28) from the field and 3-for-10 from deep in the opening 20 minutes.
The Grizzlies kept their foot on the gas in the second half, frustrating the Bulldogs at both ends of the floor. Franklin's defense held the Bulldogs to just nine second half field goals while the team's efficient offensive attack extended the lead out to as many as 35 points before the final horn sounded.
Franklin finished the night shooting 41.7 percent (31-for-74) from the floor, knocking down 12 three-pointers and going 18-for-21 at the line. At the other end of the floor, the Grizzly defense limited the Tigers to 27.9 percent (17-for-61) shooting on the night. Boyce went 5-for-33 from deep and 19-for-28 at the charity stripe.
The Grizzlies dominated on the glass Tuesday night, grabbing 52 rebounds, 17 of which came on the offensive side of the ball that led to 24 second chance points. Robertson set a new personal best with seven boards while Kyler Meyer snagged six rebounds on the defensive end.
Franklin's bench contributed in a major way on Tuesday night, pouring in 36 points on the night, as all 15 members of the Grizzlies made a dent in the score sheet in some capacity.
With their first win under their belts, the Grizzlies look to make it two wins in a row following the Thanksgiving holiday. Franklin continues its four-game homestand this coming Saturday (Nov. 25) afternoon, taking on Wheaton College. Tip-off from the Spurlock Center is set for 3:00 p.m.