Franklin, Ind. - Franklin College sophomore Dion Smith (Indianapolis, Ind./Franklin Central) scored a career-high 26 points as the men's basketball team earned an important 62-60 overtime victory over Anderson University in Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference (HCAC) action on Saturday in the Spurlock Center.
The Grizzlies trailed 58-56 with 2:09 left in regulation before Smith and senior Troy Porter (Frankfort, Ind./Frankfort) split a pair of free throws in the final 1:40 to tie the game. Then, the hosts successfully defended a three-point field goal attempt by Anderson's Max Mollaun in the closing seconds to force the extra period.
In the extra five minutes, Franklin (9-10, 6-6 HCAC) took a 61-58 advantage after a fast break layup by Smith with 2:47 left. A pair of free throws by Anderson's Mollaun cut the deficit to one point, 61-60, with 43 seconds remaining.
Franklin's Smith made just one of his two free throw attempts after grabbing an offensive rebound with seven seconds left. The free throw pushed the advantage to the final score, 62-60. The Grizzlies once again successfully defended a last-second possession as Anderson's Micah Smith was stripped of the ball before time expired.
Franklin overcame a 10-point first-half deficit to trail 29-25 at halftime. Anderson (4-15, 4-8) led 29-19 after a layup by Brett Anderson with 3:09 left in the period. Franklin senior J.T. Barton (Greenwood, Ind./Center Grove) converted a fast break layup before two baskets by Smith capped a 6-0 spurt to end the half.
Freshman Aaron Mann (Indianapolis, Ind./Howe) would score 14 of his career-high 16 points in leading Franklin in the second half. He hit a three pointer with 16:08 left to bring the Grizzlies within one point 36-35. Later, Mann made two free throws to give the team a 42-41 advantage with 12:25 remaining.
The second half featured 12 lead changes and seven ties.
Franklin took a 54-50 lead at the 6:47 mark following a layup from Mann. The Ravens answered with a jumper from Mollaun and one free throw by Smith to trail 54-53.
Malloun would tie the game at 56-56 after his fourth three-point field goal of the contest at the 2:37 mark. Anderson took a 58-56 lead after a layup by Nate Gross with 2:09 left. The Grizzlies would split a pair of free throw attempts by Smith and Porter to tie the game at 58-58.
Franklin's Smith scored 26 points and had 11 rebounds, including nine defensive boards. He also added four blocks, four assists and two steals. Mann added 16 points in the victory.
Anderson was led by Mollaun with 22 points, while Nathaniel Acree had 13 points.
The victory avenged an earlier loss to Anderson 82-79 on January 11.
Franklin returns to action on Wednesday, February 5 at 7:30 p.m. when it hosts Hanover College on Banker's Rivalry Night from the Spurlock Center. Live audio, video and 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).