Late surge not enough for Franklin men

A second-half offensive surge wasn’t enough Saturday to lift the Franklin College men’s basketball team Saturday at Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference rival Bluffton.

The Grizzlies scored 57 points in the second half but lost 83-79.

After trailing 39-22 at halftime, the Grizzlies went on a 15-2 run in the second half to cut the margin to seven points, 72-65, with 4:16 left.

A layup by junior Trey Boles got Franklin (1-16, 1-9 HCAC) within three points, 78-75, with 33 seconds remaining.

Bluffton’s Trey Elchert converted two free throws to push the lead to 80-75. Freshman Blake Oakley made a layup to cut the margin once again to three points, 80-77, with 21 seconds left.

Bluffton (9-8, 4-6 HCAC) made three of its four free throw attempts in the final 20 seconds to secure the victory.

Senior Trae Washington led Franklin with 26 points. He also recorded five rebounds and five assists.

Junior Brett McCory came off the bench to score 13 points for the Grizzlies. Senior Matt Niehoff added 11 points.

Oakley and Boles each tallied nine points, while junior John Beineke scored eight points to round out the offensive attack.

Franklin shot 55.6 percent in the second half and made 16 of 19 free throw attempts in the contest.

Franklin returns to action on Wednesday when it travels to Manchester.