Grizzlies lose in double overtime

Forty minutes proved not enough time to decide a men’s basketball game Saturday at Franklin College.

Neither was 45 minutes.

In a marathon two-overtime thriller, Anderson University escaped with a 97-94 Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference victory against the struggling Grizzlies (1-14, 1-7) at Franklin’s Spurlock Center.

In the early going, it looked like the Ravens were going to run away, scoring five easy layups.

But the Grizzlies rallied to tie the score on three occasions before halftime and eventually went ahead, 42-37, on the strength of junior guard Aaron Mann’s 17 first-half points.

Anderson (7-8, 3-5) forged a 55-55 tie in the opening minutes of the second half and took a 66-56 lead when Franklin went a little more than three minutes without scoring.

Another tie at 68 apiece followed by lead change after lead change would eventually result in a 79-79 tie at the end of regulation.

The Grizzlies took charge in the first overtime, 85-80, getting a fast-break layup from reserve freshman forward James Polston, who was trying to fill a void left when Franklin’s two bigs, senior Matt Niehoff and junior John Beineke, fouled out.

Again Anderson came back.

Baskets by freshman forward Cole Hartman, who had a team-high 28 points, and sophomore guard Trevor Lucas, who finished with 23, pushed the game into a second overtime with the scored knotted at 86-all.

Anderson then got the upper hand at the start of the second overtime with a 3-pointer from freshman guard Stanley Duncan, who finished with 17 points.

With the score tied 90-90, Lucas got loose on a breakaway layup, and on the next possession knocked down a pair free throws to give the Ravens a 95-91 lead with 7.9 seconds left.

Franklin responded with a desperation 3-pointer on the run by freshman guard Blake Oakley. Hartman added two more free throws to give Anderson a 97-94 advantage.

The Grizzlies got one more chance to tie the game, but a 3-point attempt by Mann rimmed out to give the Ravens the win.

Mann finished with a career-high 34 points, including 19 of 20 at the charity stripe, to go with a team-high 15 rebounds.

Senior guard Trae Washington was next with 18 points, while Niehoff and junior guard Trey Boles each had 13.

The Grizzlies shot 40.5 percent from the floor hitting 30 of 74, converting 30 of 35 free throws.

Anderson connected on 34 of 77 from the filed for 44.2 percent and 23 of 33 at the line.

The Ravens won the rebound battle, 48-45.

Franklin College travels to conference rival Hanover on Wednesday.