DAILY JOURNAL SPORTS CORRESpONDENT
Youth and inexperience continue to plague the Franklin College men’s basketball team at the start of the season.
The Grizzlies kept things close in the first half against visiting Trine in a nonconference game at Spurlock Center on Tuesday, but the Thunder went on a 13-4 run at the beginning of the second half and stayed in command the rest of the way to win 68-51.
Leading the way for the Thunder (1-2) with a game-high 28 points — 14 in each half — was senior forward Tyler Good.
Good connected on 9 of 15 from the field, 2 of 2 from outside the arc and 8 of 10 at the free-throw line to go with six rebounds.
Sophomore guard Will Dixon added 19 points for Trine.
In the first half, Franklin (0-4) played almost error-free ball, closing the half with only five turnovers.
There were seven ties and 11 lead-changes in the opening half.
Trine led 33-30 at halftime.
Early in the second half, defensive breakdowns by the Grizzlies gave Trine back-
to-back 3-pointers by Good and Dixon, and a fast-break layup by forward Jared Holmquist pushed the Thunder lead to 48-37.
Trying to play catch-up, Franklin gave its opponent multiple opportunities at the free-throw line, and Trine made good on 17 of 20 attempts by game’s end.
Playing with one junior, three sophomores and one freshman in the starting lineup, Franklin’s early season struggles are understandable.
“I would like to think that some of the defensive possessions we saw in the first half, we could have seen more in the second half where they would have been pivotal,” Franklin coach Kerry Prather said. “The other thing we’re committed to, while we’re rounding off the edges offensively, we’re just going to pound the offensive glass, and that was maybe the biggest disappointment of the whole night.
“We’ve played top 25 teams and had double-digit offensive rebounds in every game, and we didn’t get that kind of effort tonight with only six. We gave them more free-throw attempts at home which we can’t do.”
Freshman Jim Mace and sophomores Brett McCory, and Robbie Prather were Franklin’s top scorers with eight points each.
Franklin travels to Adrian on Saturday.