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Grizzlies come up short in men's hoops

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Despite rallying from a deep second-half deficit, the Franklin College men’s basketball team lost a 75-74 heartbreaker Saturday against visiting Anderson.

With two regular-season games left, the Grizzlies (8-8) are one game ahead of Mount St. Joseph for fifth place in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference standings.

Only the top six teams qualify for the HCAC Tournament.

After being down by as many as 16 points in the second half against Anderson, Franklin forged a 69-69 tie on a steal and fast-break layup by junior Bailey Howard with 1:03 remaining.

On the next possession, sophomore guard Patrick Ellis converted a pair of free throws to put the Grizzlies up by two.

Howard then hit two more free throws, but with 18 seconds left, Ravens forward Nate Gross rolled in a layup, his only score on the day. Still up by three, Franklin needed only one defensive stop to win it.

But Anderson senior guard Phil Hogan dribbled the length of the court, pulled up from outside the arc and drilled a game-tying 3-pointer. He was fouled in the act of shooting and made what proved to be the game-winning free throw.

Hogan finished with a team-high 25 points.

With only four seconds left, Howard made his way across the 10-second line and launched a 35-footer, but his shot rimmed out.

Howard topped the Grizzlies with a game-high 26 points. Senior Gunner Erwin added 15 points and freshman Dion Smith tallied 13 points and 11 rebounds.

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