Bluffton, Ohio - Franklin College senior Bailey Howard (Nashville, Ind./Brown County) scored 45 points in leading the men's basketball team to a 92-82 Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference (HCAC) victory at Bluffton University on Saturday. The 45 points are the third-most points scored in league history.
Franklin improves to 5-2 on the season and is 2-0 in conference play, with both victories coming on the road.
The Grizzlies set the three-point field goal percentage school record, making 11 of 13 shots (84.6 percent).
Howard, the reigning HCAC Player of the Week, tied the three-point field goal percentage school record by connecting on all seven of his three pointers. He matched Justin Castelli with a 7-for-7 performance against Earlham College during the 2003-04 season. Howard made five three pointers while 31 first-half points.
Howard's 45 total points fell one point shy of tying Craig Plummer's school record of 46 points against Taylor University during the 1967-68 season.
Franklin took an early 14-8 lead at the 14:37 mark of the first after Howard scored 10 consecutive points. The visitors' lead grew to seven points, 30-23, with 8:51 left following a pair of free throws from Howard. A three-point field goal by Howard put the Grizzlies ahead 41-33 with 5:38 remaining.
Franklin led 50-47 at halftime after shooting 70 percent from the floor in the first 20 minutes.
The Grizzlies had a quick start to the second half, building a 61-49 lead after a layup by Howard with 16:40 left. Bluffton (3-4, 1-1 HCAC) used an 11-0 run over the next three minutes to trim the deficit to one point, 61-60.
However, back-to-back three pointers by sophomore Trae Washington (Bloomington, Ind./Bloomington South) and freshman Aaron Mann (Indianapolis, Ind./Howe) pushed the lead to 68-63. Later, a three-point field goal from freshman Robbie Prather (Franklin, Ind./Roncalli) gave Franklin a 76-65 advantage with 9:20 left.
Bluffton trimmed the lead to four points, 80-76, after a pair of free throws from Will Pope at the 4:39 mark. On the next offensive possession, Howard's seventh three pointer helped secure the victory.
The Grizzlies finished the game shooting 61 percent from the floor.
Bluffton's Bill Taflinger and Pope had a team-high 17 points to lead the Beavers.
Franklin resumes HCAC play with a home match up against the College of Mount St.
Joseph at 3 p.m. from the Spurlock Center. It will be the team's home conference opener. Live statistics of the game will be available here. In-game updates will also be available on Twitter (@FCAthletics) and on Facebook (www.facebook.com/FranklinCollegeAthletics).