FRANKLIN, Ind. – The Franklin College men's basketball team returned to action on Tuesday (Nov. 13) night, taking on in-state and in-region rival DePauw University inside Franklin's Spurlock Center.
The Grizzlies (1-1) got a game-high 21 points and six assists from sophomore guard Sam Gutierrez, but were unable to over a DePauw (1-0) offense that shot 52.3 percent (34-for-65) from the floor and held a plus-17 edge in the rebounding battle, dropping an 85-67 decision.
"We let ourselves down in two areas tonight," Head coach Kerry Prather said after the game. "We got stretched out defensively and DePauw did a better job than we did on the glass. The good news is these are correctable things and they're easier to fix than skill gaps. We go back to work in practice tomorrow and we know what we have to work on to get ready for a long road trip."
The two teams played at a break-neck pace in the early going, getting up-and-down the floor with speed in the transition games. Franklin held their biggest lead of the night thanks to a 7-0 run that made it 12-5 just 4:31 into the game, but DePauw would battle back to even things up and take the lead with an Andrew Kus three that made it 21-18 with 10:43 to go in the opening half.
That three started an 11-4 Tiger run that stretched the lead to double figures. Franklin cut the deficit down to four at 34-30 when Gutierrez drilled a long three with 5:51 left in the opening half, but they couldn't cut into the lead any further as DePauw took a 48-35 lead into the locker room at halftime.
The Grizzlies clawed back to within single digits less than six minutes into the second half when junior Kale Morris sank a long three and followed it up with a jumper to make it 54-46 with 14:23 to go in the game. But a 10-2 DePauw run would follow, giving the Tigers a double-digit lead they held for the rest of the night.
Danny Goggans and Morris joined Gutierrez in double figures with 13 and 11 points, respectively. Franklin connected on 43.1 percent (28-for-65) of their field goal attempts, going 4-for-15 from long range and 7-for-15 from the line. Goggans topped the Grizzlies with six boards, but the Tigers controlled the game on the glass, finishing with a 47-30 rebounding advantage.
Gutierrez dished out a game-high six assists on the offensive end. Jordan Anderson had a pair of steal and Kyle Meyer blocked two shots to lead the Grizzlies. Franklin finished the night with a 12-8 edge in the turnover battle.
The Grizzlies turn their attention to a four-game road trip, which gets under way on Monday (Nov. 19) night when they head south to take on Florida College. Tip-off is set for 7:00 p.m.