FRANKLIN, Ind. – A four-game homestand rolled on for the Franklin College men's basketball team on Tuesday night, as the Grizzlies looked to get back in the win column against the Colonels of Centre College.
For the second straight game and third time this year, senior John Beineke topped the Grizzlies (1-4) in scoring, netting a season-high 22 points on an efficient 8-for-9 night from the floor. But a big first half run by the Colonels (2-3) proved to be the game's pivotal stretch as Centre held on for a 66-55 win.
The Grizzlies came out firing to start the game, jumping out to a 13-6 lead less than seven minutes into the game, with a 9-2 run giving Franklin their biggest lead of the night. That's when the game's pivotal run began as Centre rattled off a 20-3 run that turned a seven-point deficit into a 26-16 Centre lead with 6:18 left in the half.
A triple from Beineke halted the run and got the Grizzlies back within single digits at 26-19 with 5:15 to play, but the Grizzlies couldn't close the gap any further and went into the locker room trailing, 33-23.
The Colonels opened the second half with a 9-4 run, giving them their largest lead of the night at 42-27 with 16:10 to play. But the young Grizzlies refused to go down without a fight, getting the lead back down to single digits after a Beineke layup made it 48-39 with 10 minutes to play.
However, that's as close as the Grizzlies would get as Centre would stretch their lead back to double figures shortly after and keep it there for the rest of the night.
Sam Gutierrez reached double figures for the third time this year, pouring in 12 points. The Grizzlies connected on 40 percent (22-for-55) of their shots on the night, going 3-for-14 from the floor and 8-for10 from the free throw line.
Jacob Bates led the Colonels with 11 points and 12 rebounds. Centre shot 40.6 percent (28-for-69) on the night, connecting on 4-of-17 three-pointers and 6-of-12 free throws.
Centre held a 40-38 edge in the rebounding battle. Danny Goggans topped the Grizzlies with seven boards while Kyle Meyer hauled in six rebounds on the night. The Colonels out-scored the Grizzlies in the paint, 40-28, while the visitor's bench chipped in with 31 points to just eight for Franklin.
Franklin will close out the current four-game homestand on Saturday afternoon, when they open up Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference (HCAC) play against the No. 4-ranked Hanover Panthers. Tip-off from the Spurlock Center is set for approximately 3:00 p.m.