Franklin, Ind. - The Franklin College men's basketball team recorded a key 81-74 Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference (HCAC) victory at Manchester University on Wednesday from North Manchester, Indiana.
Franklin (8-10, 5-6 HCAC) held a 43-36 halftime lead after closing the first half on a 13-2 run over the final four minutes. The lead quickly got to double digits in the second half. The Grizzlies built a 62-45 lead after a three-point field goal by freshman Robbie Prather (Franklin, Ind./Roncalli). The advantage stayed in double figures until the 5:46 mark following a layup from Manchester's Matt Brown.
Manchester (4-14, 3-8 HCAC) trimmed the deficit to 68-63 with 4:56 left. Franklin sophomore Trae Washington (Bloomington, Ind./Bloomington South drained a three-point field goal on the next offensive possession.
Sophomore Dion Smith (Indianapolis, Ind./Franklin Central) made a pair of free throws to extend the lead to nine points, 76-67, at the 2:56 mark.
Later, Manchester's Brady Dolezal made a layup with 17 seconds left to cut the deficit to 77-74. Then, Washington made four free throws to secure the road victory.
Smith led the offensive attack with a double-double of 20 points and 12 rebounds. He scored 14 points in the first half. Senior Bailey Howard (Nashville, Ind./Brown County) added 16 points, while Washington scored 10 points.
Franklin made 10 three-point field goals and shot 43 percent from the floor in the game. The team made 21-of-26 free throws (81 percent).
Wednesday's win evened the season series after Manchester won at Franklin 57-54 on January 9. Howard, the HCAC's second leading scorer, did not play in the first meeting.
Dolezal led Manchester with a game-high 28 points, while Brown had 16 points.
Franklin returns to action on Saturday, February 1 at 3 p.m. when it hosts Anderson University from the Spurlock Center. Live audio and statistics of the game will be available here. In-game updates will be available on Twitter (@FCAthletics) and on Facebook (www.facebook.com/FranklinCollegeAthletics).