FRANKLIN, Ind. – The Franklin College Grizzlies shot a blistering 56 percent on Monday night en route to an 85-78 win over Manchester.
The Spartans were the aggressors early in Monday's pivotal HCAC contest, building a six-point midway through the first half. However, the host Grizzlies used a 13-4 run over about 90 seconds of action to wrestle the lead away from Manchester. Franklin held a slight 38-32 advantage at the break.
Coming out of halftime, both teams traded baskets on their opening possessions. Adrian Johnson (Indianapolis, Ind. / Fall Creek) made a layup with 16:11 remaining in the game that put the Spartans up 42-40. The Grizzlies answered right back with a three from Matt Krause on their ensuing possession.
Five straight points from Franklin's Kale Morris pushed the Grizzlies' lead to 60-50 with 9:48 left to play. The Spartans never got closer than seven points the rest of the way.
The Spartans managed to shoot a decent percentage on Monday night. MU knocked in 30-of-68 (44 percent) field goal attempts and made 4-of-8 of its three-pointers. The Spartans also knocked in 14-of-18 (78 percent) foul shot attempts. Franklin shot 33-of-59 (56 percent) from the floor and outrebounded MU 38-32.
Johnson led the way for Manchester with 19 points and five assists. Named the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference Men's Basketball Player of the Week earlier today, Johnson surpassed Rick Blastic (1972-76) as the fourth all-time leading scorer in Manchester history with 1,776 career points.
Nathan Carbaugh (Fort Wayne, Ind. / North Side) nearly posted a double double, finishing with 13 points and nine rebounds. Jalmen Sullivan (Kankakee, Ill. / St. Anne) also added 13 points of the bench.
Manchester fell to 9-12, 6-8 HCAC this season. The Griz improved to 8-13, 6-8 HCAC. The Spartans will look to bounce back at home on Wednesday February 6 against rival Anderson University in the regular season home finale. Tip from Stauffer-Wolfe Arena will be at 7:30 p.m.