Hanover, Ind. - The Franklin College men's basketball team trimmed a 15-point second-half deficit to two points, but saw its 2013-14 season end in a 78-70 loss at Hanover College 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 three-point field goal by Ethan Black with 9:40 remaining.
Franklin went on a 15-6 run over the next five minutes to trim the deficit to four points, 63-59. Later, a three pointer by sophomore Trae Washington (Bloomington, Ind./Bloomington South) got the Grizzlies within 64-62 at the 4:01 mark. Washington connected on a pair of free throws to once again bring the deficit to two points, 66-64, with 3:28 left.
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. For the game, Hanover made 19-of-21 free throw attempts.
In the first half, Hanover used a 13-4 run over the final 6:09 of the period 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, February 28.
Franklin senior Bailey Howard (Nashville, Ind./Brown County) 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 (Indianapolis, Ind./Howe) and sophomore Dion Smith (Indianapolis, Ind./Franklin Central) each scored 12 points.
Hanover's V.J. Billups scored a game-high 18 points. Tim Bass added 16 points and Kyle James had 14 points.