A balanced offensive attack helped lead the Franklin College men’s basketball team to a 79-71 home Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference victory against Earlham College on Saturday.
The win capped off a doubleheader sweep for Grizzlies teams, as the Franklin women downed Earlham 67-56.
With a 3-1 record in league play, they are tied for first place in the HCAC standings.
Senior Troy Porter led four Franklin players in double figures with 18 points. Freshman Robbie Prather scored a career-high 16 points off the bench and made two 3 pointers.
Senior Bailey Howard added 15 points for the Grizzlies, and sophomore teammate Dion Smith had 10 points.
Franklin (6-5, 3-1 HCAC) raced out to a 15-6 lead seven minutes into the contest behind six points from Smith. The lead grew to 24-12 with 10:09 left in the first half after a three-point field goal by Prather.
Earlham (2-9, 1-3 HCAC), however, went on a 16-3 run over the next six minutes to take a 28-27 lead. The Quakers led 31-27 at the 2:40 mark after a free throw by Iman Sharif.
Franklin closed the first half strong, going on a 7-1 spurt to lead 34-32 at halftime.
Porter would score 13 of his 18 points in the second half to help the Grizzlies pull away. A layup by senior Terry Sargent gave the hosts a 46-36 advantage with 14:10 left.
Later, a layup from Howard pushed the lead back to double digits, 50-40, at the 11:55 mark.
The Quakers closed the deficit to seven points, 69-62, following two free throws by Jack O’Flaherty with 3:41 remaining. A quick 7-0 Franklin run over the next two minutes secured the victory.
Franklin shot 55 percent from the floor in the victory and held Earlham to 2-of-20 from behind the arc.
The Grizzlies’ next game is Wednesday against visiting HCAC rival Manchester.
In the women’s contest, Franklin earned a victory with a big efort from its post players.
The Grizzlies (5-6, 3-1 HCAC) went on a 14-1 run over five minutes late in the second half to secure a win.
Twelve of those points were scored by post players.
For the game, Franklin scored 40 points in the paint.
Junior Lindsey Dall scored eight consecutive points to break a
49-49 tie with 7:36 remaining. She led three double-figure scorers with 16 points.
Sophomore Katie Brewer added 15 points, 10 rebounds and six blocked shots for the Grizzlies. Junior Nichole Thompson scored 11 points off the bench.
Earlham (5-6, 1-3 HCAC) jumped out to a 13-4 lead after a three-point field goal by Lexi McFarland at the 15:10 mark. Franklin went on a 9-3 run midway through the first half to tie the game at 18-18 following a layup by Thompson with 8:02 left.
The Grizzlies had a 29-23 advantage with 3:02 remaining in the first half after a layup by Brewer. However, the Quakers responded with a 7-2 run as Franklin led 31-30 at halftime.
In the second half, both teams battled back and forth, with the largest lead being three points. The second half featured eight lead changes.
A layup by Brewer tied the game at 49-49 with 7:36 left. Dall converted two jumpers on consecutive offensive possessions to jumpstart the late run.
A pair of Dall free throws and another jumper gave Franklin a 59-50 lead at the 4:03 mark. The lead grew to 13 points, 63-50, after two free throws by Brewer with 2:35 left.
Earlham was unable to get the deficit into single digits the rest of the way.
Franklin held a 44-24 rebounding edge and shot 48 percent from the floor.
The Grizzlies return to action Wednesday at HCAC co-leader Manchester.