Franklin pulls out 61-59 win over Beavers in Founders Hall
December 12, 2009
By: Josh Bruner, sports information assistant
Click here for box score
BLUFFTON, Ohio - The Bluffton University and Franklin College proved to be worthy
opponents as the teams kept the game even throughout the entire 40 minutes. The Beavers
outscored the Grizzlies in second half, but it was not enough as the visitors squeaked
out a 61-59 victory on Saturday, December 12, 2009. The loss pushed Bluffton to 0-9
overall and 0-4 in the HCAC, while Franklin climbed to 4-5 overall and 2-1 in the
Sophomore Brent Farley (Lima/Shawnee) led the Beavers out of the gate with a layup to start the scoring.
The Grizzlies quickly responded, answering with a Zach Merschbrock layup. The Beavers took an early 8-2 lead as Nick Lee (Mt. Blanchard/Vanlue) capped a 6-0 spurt with a steal and layup with 15:36 left
in the first.
The scoring slowed, but the Grizzlies tied the game at 10 with an Erwin Gunner layup midway through the first half. Mychal Hill (London/Jon. Alder) responded with two free throws to put the Beavers back on top.
Less than two minutes later, Franklin took their first lead of the night on a Clay Starrett three-pointer. The Beavers did not stop, as Josh Eichar (North Baltimore) and Farley each added makes to pull the Beavers back ahead.
The teams continue to trade points until the Beavers pushed the lead to five on a
Lee layup, making the score 26-21 with three minutes remaining in the half. The Grizzlies
continued to fight and they finished the half with a Gunner three, going on a 12-4
run in the last three minutes for a 33-30 lead at the half despite a Brent Farley
rebound and dunk with 21 seconds left.
Lee led the Beavers out of the half, putting a layup in on the first possession to
make it a one-point game. Franklin tried to open its lead up, pulling ahead by five
with 17:39 left in the game. Hill once again responded with two more free throws to
cut the deficit to three.
Both teams struggled on the offensive end, as neither squad managed a point for over
two minutes until Lee drained two free throws, bringing Bluffton within one point. Franklin
pushed the lead back up to three off a Merschbrock layup.
Franklin slowly added to its lead, going up 59-50 with less than four minutes to play.
The deficit did not look good for Bluffton, but the home team fought back tied the
game with a 9-0 run, led by Farley who put up six of the nine.
Franklin came up empty on its next possession. Bluffton held the ball for over thirty
seconds, but a questionable no call on Nick Lee's drive to the hoop gave the ball
back to the Grizzlies with just 25 seconds remaining. Merschbrock drew a foul at the
other end and he hit both free throws to put Franklin up by two. The Beavers' last
second triple attempt rattled out as the Grizzlies snuck out with the 61-59 win.
Leading the Bluffton offense was Farley who went 9-of-10 from the field and 2-for-3
at the line to give him 20. He also pulled in 10 boards for his third career double-double.
Lee followed closely, adding 16 of his own. Next in the scoring column was Eichar
who had nine points and eight rebounds. Hill went 6-of-6 from the line and added eight
The Grizzlies were led by three scorers in double figures. Merschbrock put up 20 points,
Gunner added 14 and Starrett chipped in with 11. Scott Trueblood led the team in rebounds with nine.
The Beavers ended the game shooting 24-of-56 (42.9 percent) and 11-for-15 (73.3 percent)
from the line, but failed to add a three-pointer (0-of-8). Franklin was 22-of-49 (44.9
percent) from the field, 13-of-19 from the line (68.4 percent) and went 4-of-11 (36.4
percent) from behind the arc. Each team pulled down a total of 32 boards for the game.
The Beavers will be back in action next Saturday, December 19, in Founders Hall when
they host Hiram. The game is slated to start at 3 p.m.