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Men’s Basketball Defeats Earlham, Ties for First Place in HCAC

Franklin, Ind. - A balanced offensive attack helped lead the Franklin College men's basketball team to a 79-71 home Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference (HCAC) victory over Earlham College on Saturday from the Spurlock Center. The victory puts the Grizzlies in a first-place tie with a 3-1 league record.

Senior Troy Porter (Frankfort, Ind./Frankfort) led four double-figure scoring performances with 18 points. Freshman Robbie Prather (Franklin, Ind./Roncalli) scored a career-high 16 points off the bench and made two three pointers. Senior Bailey Howard (Nashville, Ind./Brown County) added 15 points and sophomore Dion Smith (Indianapolis, Ind./Franklin Central) had 10 points.

Franklin (6-5, 3-1 HCAC) raced out to a 15-6 lead seven minutes into the contest behind six points from Smith. The lead grew to 24-12 with 10:09 left in the first half after a three-point field goal by Prather.

However, Earlham (2-9, 1-3 HCAC) went on a 16-3 run over the next six minutes to take a 28-27 lead. The Quakers led 31-27 at the 2:40 mark after a free throw by Iman Sharif.

Franklin closed the first half strong, going on a 7-1 spurt to take a 34-32 lead into halftime.

Porter would score 13 of his 18 points in the second half to help the Grizzlies pull away. A layup by senior Terry Sargent (Indianapolis, Ind./Howe) gave the hosts a 46-36 advantage with 14:10 left. Later, a layup from Howard pushed the lead back to double digits, 50-40, at the 11:55 mark.

The Quakers closed the deficit to seven points, 69-62, following two free throws by Jack O'Flaherty with 3:41 remaining. A quick 7-0 Franklin run over the next two minutes secured the victory.

Franklin shot 55 percent from the floor in the victory and held Earlham to 2-of-20 shooting from behind the arc.

The Grizzlies remain home for a conference match up against Manchester University on Wednesday, January 8 at 7:30 p.m. from the Spurlock Center. Live statistics and audio of the game will be available here. In-game updates will also be available on Twitter (@FCAthletics) and on Facebook (www.facebook.com/FranklinCollegeAthletics).