Special to the Daily Journal
Franklin College had a double-digit lead in the second half slip away but regrouped to prevail 75-70 in its Heartland Conference men’s basketball clash at Anderson late Saturday afternoon.
The Grizzlies evened their HCAC record at 3-3 and improved to 8-5 overall, while the Ravens dropped to 3-3 in the league and 7-6.
The Ravens, who played without senior guard Phil Hogan sidelined by injury, came close to pulling off a dramatic comeback win after trailing by as many as a dozen points early in the second period.
Hogan averaged 38.0 points in three outings between Dec. 17 and Jan. 2, scoring 55 points at La Verne (Calif.) in an Anderson win on Dec. 29.
But Franklin showed even more heart, holding on to win a key conference road game to even its league mark after falling at home for the first time this season on Jan. 2.
After Anderson battled back from its 12-point deficit to take a 68-67 lead on a layup by Micah Smith with 2:33 left, the Grizzlies answered with a pair of free throws by junior forward Troy Porter.
The Ravens reclaimed the edge with a basket by Carson Breckenridge with 1:59 remaining, but Franklin took control the rest of the way.
Freshman forward Dion Smith scored on a go-ahead layup with 1:36 to go.
Junior guard Bailey Howard and Porter both knocked down two foul shots apiece in the last 37 seconds to put it away.
Howard led all scorers with 25 points. Porter tallied a career-high 21 points, and junior guard J.T. Barton added 10.
Anderson’s balanced attack was paced by Isaac Loechle with 12 points.
Adam Miller scored 11 points with a game-best 10 rebounds, and Max Mollaun and Smith added 10 points apiece.