RECAP | Grizzlies Race Past Tigers to Pick Up First Win of the Year

Sam Gutierrez. Photo: Ryan Thomas
Sam Gutierrez. Photo: Ryan Thomas

GREENCASTLE, Ind. – The Franklin men's basketball team resumed a four-game road trip on Tuesday (Nov. 12) night and came away with their first win of the year, besting DePauw University 80-73.

Four Grizzlies (1-1) reached double-digit point totals on the night and the team shot 54.1% (33-for-61) from the floor. Defense was key for the Grizzlies in the second half, as they held the Tigers (0-1) in check in the second half to earn their first win in the Neal Fieldhouse since 1997

"We came out of halftime and our number one emphasis was to frustrate their shooters," Head coach Kerry Prather said after the win. "We were able to do that and it made a difference. The thing I'm most pleased about was everything that hurt us on Saturday we improved on. We improved on our post and ball screen defense and we crashed the glass offensively better. We proved that if you defend on the road and if you rebound on the road, we can win tough games."

Franklin jumped out to an early 7-2 lead before the Tigers stormed back to tie the game at 11 at the 15:23 mark of the first half, setting the tone for an opening half that featured two efficient offenses. The Tigers used the three-point ball to take their biggest lead of the half at 26-19 with 9:20 to go in the half.

But the Grizzlies would grind their way back into the contest, using a combination of dribble drives and mid-range jumpers to draw even at 40 when the teams headed into the half. Franklin shot 62.1% (18-for-29) from the field and recorded 28 points in the paint, countering a DePauw attack that knocked down seven triples on 11 attempts in the opening 20 minutes.

Franklin took the lead on their first possession of the second half on a Danny Goggans layup and never surrendered it, leading by as many as 11 throughout the second half. The game's pivotal stretch came over a nearly five-minute stretch, when Franklin rattled off a 10-4 run to make it a 63-53 game with Borden Kennedy punctuating the run on a driving layup.

The Tigers refused to give in, clawing back to within four at 75-71 with under a minute to go following an 11-4 run of their own. But it proved to be too little, too late as a Goggans jumper and three made free throws closed out the Grizzlies' first win of the young 2019-20 campaign.

Sam Gutierrez had a team-high 17 points for Franklin and shot 70% (7-for-10) from the floor. Goggans and Kennedy had 14 each and Matt Krause recorded his second double-double of the year with 13 points and 11 rebounds.

Defensively, Franklin held DePauw to 46.9% (30-for-64) from the floor and just 25% (3-for-12) from long range in the second half. Rebounds were 34-29 in Franklin's favor with each team turning it over nine times. The Grizzlies had 52 of their points in the paint and notched 11 second chance points to six for DePauw.

Next up for the Grizzlies is a trip to Wheaton, Ill. on Friday (Nov. 15) night for day one of the Wheaton College Lee Pfund Classic. The Grizzlies will meet UW-River Falls in the event's opening game with tip-off set for 6:30 p.m. eastern time.