A late-arriving Adrian College men’s basketball team put everything on hold for 30 minutes at Franklin College’s Spurlock Center on Wednesday night.
But after the long wait, the Grizzlies stayed patient with good shot selection in defeating the Bulldogs 64-53.
The win boosted Franklin’s record to 3-0, while Adrian fell to 0-3.
While Adrian was more athletic and relied on its run-and-gun offense, Franklin worked the half court, using the shot clock to its advantage.
The Grizzlies’ primary scoring thrust early came from 6-foot-4 sophomore forward Dion Smith, who scored 10 of Franklin’s first 12 points.
Adrian’s defensive play outside the 3-point arc worked to perfection, holding Franklin’s perimeter threat, senior guard Bailey Howard, to only five points in the first half.
Before going to intermission with the Grizzlies up 30-28, there were a total of six ties.
Howard got the Grizzlies on the right track to open the second half by knocking down a pair of free throws, and sophomore guard Trae Washington hit one of his trademark 3-pointers to increase Franklin’s lead to 40-29.
Adrian went on an 11-6 run, but Washington hit a fade-away jumper followed by an acrobatic drive for a layup in the lane by senior guard Terry Sargent that gave Franklin a 51-40 advantage.
Playing with four personal fouls during the final four minutes, Smith made the most of his inside work and got two layups to close the door on the Bulldogs.
Smith finished with a game-high 17 to go with 10 rebounds. Washington added 10. Brad Hohman topped Adrian with 14 points.
Franklin won the battle of the boards 31-28. The Grizzlies hit 14 of 15 free throws in the second half.
Before the Thanksgiving holiday, Franklin travels to Florida to play Southeastern University in Lakeland on Monday and Eckerd College in St. Petersburg on Tuesday.