The Franklin College men’s basketball team saw its season end in a 78-70 loss at Hanover in the first round of the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference Tournament on Tuesday.
Hanover (18-8) led 50-35 with 15:31 left before Franklin (10-16) mounted a second-half charge. The Panthers held a 57-44 advantage following a 3-point field goal by Ethan Black with 9:40 left.
Franklin went on a 15-6 run over the next five minutes to trim the deficit to four points, 63-59. Later, a 3-pointer by sophomore Trae Washington got the Grizzlies within 64-62 at the 4:01 mark.
Following missed shots by Hanover on its next two offensive possessions, Franklin was unable to answer to tie or take the lead. Trailing 68-64 in the final minute, the Panthers connected on all 12 free-throw attempts to secure the victory. Hanover made 19 of 21 free-throw attempts for the game.
Hanover used a 13-4 run during the final 6:09 of the first half to build a 10-point halftime advantage, 41-31.
The Panthers, the No. 3 seed, advance to the semifinals against No. 2-seed Defiance College on Friday.
Franklin senior Bailey Howard led four double-figure scorers with 17 points. He capped his career with 1,439 points, ranking 13th in program history. Washington added 16 points, while senior Terry Sargent and sophomore Dion Smith each scored 12.
Tuesday’s game concluded the careers of seniors J.T. Barton, Troy Porter, Howard and Sargent.
Hanover’s V.J. Billups scored a game-high 18 points. Tim Bass added 16 points.