FRANKLIN, Ind. – Playing in front of their home fans for the first time, the Franklin men's basketball team notched their second win in a row with a 76-66 triumph over Spalding University on Wednesday (Nov. 20) night.
Four Grizzlies (3-2) recorded double-digit point totals with Payton Mills' 18 points and 16 rebounds leading the way in both categories. Rebounds proved key to victory, as the Grizzlies grabbed 41 boards to 23 for the Golden Eagles (0-4), with 20 of those coming on the offensive glass.
"Our offensive rebounding has been a priority all year and we delivered in that area tonight," Head coach Kerry Prather said after the game. "When you miss 29 shots and get rebounds on 20 of them is amazing. Our offensive possessions down the stretch were very disciplined. We made life difficult for them down the stretch and we took care of the ball in our end."
The Grizzlies got off to an amazing start, scoring the game's first 13 points while forcing the Eagles to miss their first 11 shot attempts. But the roles reversed shortly after and with 10 minutes gone in the half, the visitors were back within four at 20-16 following a 14-5 run.
Spalding took their first lead of the night with 5:33 to go in the first half, but the Grizzlies didn't stay behind for long. A late 12-4 run late in the half put the Grizzlies in front for good, setting the table for a 43-38 halftime advantage.
Just as they did in the first half, Franklin came out firing to start the final 20 minutes, rattling off a 10-2 to open the period and take their largest lead of the night at 53-40 with 16:56 to play. But Spalding refused to go away, using quick-strike scoring to claw back to within five at 71-66 with three minutes to play following a Marcus Montgomery three-pointer.
That three ended up being the Eagles' last bucket of the night, as Franklin forced Spalding to miss their final three shots while Mills closed out the game with the last five points of the evening.
Franklin knocked down 45.6% (26-for-57) of their field goals, going 6-for-15 from three and 18-for-25 from the free throw line. Matt Krause made it five straight games with double figures after a 16-point night. Kale Morris and Borden Kennedy also reached double-digits with 12 and 10 points, respectively.
Franklin put up 38 points in the paint and out-scored the Golden Eagles 18-7 on second chance opportunities.
The Grizzlies are off until next Tuesday (Nov. 26) night, when the Centre College Colonels come to the Spurlock Center. Tip-off is set for 7:30 p.m.