FRANKLIN, Ind. – The Franklin College men's basketball team concluded a brief two-game homestand on Wednesday (Jan. 9) night, taking on conference-leading Rose-Hulman inside Franklin's Spurlock Center.
The Grizzlies (4-10, 2-5 HCAC) shook off an early deficit and pushed the league-leading Engineers (10-4, 6-1 HCAC) to overtime. The two teams every second to decide a winner and the game came down to the final play. However, it was the Engineers that came away with the win, scoring with less than one second to play to escape with a 74-71 win.
"The lesson for our team tonight is two-fold," Head coach Kerry Prather said. "We battled and we defended really well and from a coaching standpoint, if you get that level of effort from your players, you give yourself a chance to win. On the flip side, some mistakes at critical moment have hurt us. But we defended well and we got some real nice contributions from our bench in this one. We fell behind early and to their credit, our guys didn't get down and let it snowball against a very good team."
The Grizzlies found themselves in a double-digit hole just minutes into the game thanks to a 12-2 Engineer run that made it 14-4 a little more than five minutes in. But the Grizzlies wouldn't panic facing the early deficit, storming back with a 15-2 run later in the half to take their first lead of the night at 24-21 with 7:27 showing on the clock. Buckets were tough to come by for both sides as the first half ran down, and the two teams headed to the locker room tied at 30.
Franklin grabbed the lead on the first possession of the second half and held it all the way to the mid-way point of the half when an Engineer bucket tied things up at 47. Shortly after that, the Grizzlies would hold their largest lead of the game thanks to a 9-0 run that made it 56-47 with a little over six minutes to play.
But the league leaders would bounce back from the deficit to take the lead with less than a minute to play. Matt Kruase sank a long three to put Franklin back in front, but Rose evened things up at 64 with two free throws. Both teams had one last look at the winning basket, but neither team could convert and the game headed to OT.
The Engineers struck first and held a 71-66 lead with less than two minutes to play. Krause connected on a layup to cut the deficit to three and after a pair of stops at the other end, Bennie Patterson drilled a long three-pointer with 31 seconds left to tie the game up. But the Engineers would convert on the game's final possession, as Michael Lake converted an old-fashioned three-point play with 0.9 seconds showing on the clock, providing the game's deciding bucket.
Krause led the Grizzlies with 14 points on the night and was joined in double figures by Patterson (12 pts), Kale Morris (11 pts) and Payton Mills (10 pts). The Grizzlies shot 47.4 percent (27-for-57) from the field, going 8-for-20 from long range and 9-for-14 from the line. Defensively, the Grizzlies held an efficient Rose-Hulman offense to just 42.9 percent (27-for-63) shooting.
Patterson, Krause and Mills tied for the team lead with six rebounds each as the Engineers finished the night with a 37-33 edge on the glass. Franklin's bench out-scored the Rose reserves at a 31-10 clip.
Franklin hits the road to start a two-game road trip on Saturday (Jan. 12), heading to Richmond, Ind. to take on the Earlham Quakers. Tip-off is set for approximately 3:00 p.m.