Anytime Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference Franklin College and Transylvania rivals get together in men’s basketball, you can count on a fast and furious finish.
The host Grizzlies withstood a last-minute rally to defeat Transylvania 97-93 on Wednesday night.
For Franklin, the win put an end to a four-game losing streak in which the Grizzlies had lost by a combined nine points. The Pioneers’ loss ended a three-game winning streak.
The Grizzlies came out strong in the opening 10 minutes of play and grabbed a 21-11 lead bolstered by a stingy man-to-man defense.
However, the Pioneers, who started three freshmen and two sophomores, were not about to
With the help of seven 3-pointers, four by freshman guard Ethan Rowe, the Pioneers closed the gap and took their first lead at 36-35 with three minutes left in the half.
With time running down, Transylvania scored the final six points of the half — all by freshman
Garrett Dorfman — giving the
Pioneers a 46-41 advantage at
Sophomore forward Dion Smith, who got into foul trouble early in the second half, spurred a Grizzlies rally as Franklin retook the lead at 54-50.
Smith, who finished with 21 points and nine rebounds, picked up his third personal foul at the 16:25 mark and was forced to the bench.
He returned with a little more than 10 minutes left and almost immediately was charged with his fourth foul with the score tied at 65-all.
Freshman guard Aaron Mann, who finished with 13 points, gave the Grizzlies a 68-65 advantage on a conventional 3-point play.
Also hitting double figures was senior guard Bailey Howard, who’s currently second in scoring in the conference with a 21.9 average, and senior forward Troy Porter, who added 17 points.
Howard scored 19 of his game-high 26 points in the second half, including 3 of 7 from outside the arc and 7 of 8 at the charity stripe.
Also figuring big in the win was senior guard Terry Sargent, finishing with 14 points, including a pair of free throws with eight seconds left in the game.
The Grizzlies led by as many as nine points in the closing minutes, but Transylvania (6-10, 4-5) kept chipping away at the lead. With 21 seconds remaining, freshman guard Mason Monroe hit a layup and on the next possession two free throws to narrow the deficit to 95-93.
Leading the way for Transylvania with 22 points was Rowe. Logan Wade added 20, Dorfman 19 and Monroe 16.
The Grizzlies won the battle of the boards 39-26.
Franklin (7-9, 4-5 HCAC) travels to Mount St. Joseph on Saturday.