Special to the Daily Journal
Gunner Erwin scored all of his game-high 17 points from midway in the second half through overtime, leading the Franklin College men’s basketball team to a 73-69 comeback victory at Earlham on Saturday.
After falling to Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference leader Rose-Hulman at home on Wednesday, the cold-shooting Grizzlies had to fight back to overtake the last-place Quakers to improve to 6-4 in the HCAC and 11-6 overall.
Franklin now is tied with Defiance for fourth place in the league standings.
The Grizzlies were slow out of the gate, falling behind by as many as 11 points at 12-1 just five minutes into the action before rallying to close to within two points at 29-27 at the half.
The Quakers (1-9 HCAC, 2-15) then led by seven points on two occasions in the second period before Franklin’s Terry Sargent made a three-point basket to cut the hosts’ advantage to four with just over minutes remaining in regulation.
The game was closely contested the rest of the way.
Franklin shot 35.1 percent overall, but struggled especially from long range, hitting just 3 of 19 three-point shots.
But the Grizzlies helped themselves considerably at the free throw stripe, hitting 30 of 39 foul shots for 76.9 percent, and had 13 offensive rebounds among their 35 total rebounds.
Erwin finally broke the lid off the basket at the 10:16 mark of the second half. The senior forward also had seven rebounds.
Junior forward Troy Porter contributed to Franklin’s balanced scoring attack with 13 points.
Junior guards Sargent and J.T. Barton added 12 points each.
Tyler Lewers scored 13 points to pace Earlham’s balanced scoring. Marty Broderick and Dustin Rusk added 11 points apiece, and Kirk Douglas chipped in 10.