LANCASTER, Pa. – Mike Baker led four Franklin & Marshall players in double figures with 20 to lead his 24th-ranked team to a 71-65 victory over McDaniel in Centennial Conference (CC) men’s basketball action on Saturday.
Miguel Jones (Baltimore, Md./North County) notched his second straight 20-point game with 21 points to pace the Green Terror (12-4, 7-2 CC), who had its eight-game winning streak snapped and fell for the first time since a 68-62 loss to Guilford on Dec. 17.
Georgio Milligan and Clay Scovill each netted 12 points for the Diplomats (14-2, 7-2 CC), who halted their four-game skid against McDaniel and forge a three-way tie for the lead in the conference standings after Haverford defeated Gettysburg, 56-45.
Trailing 40-26 early in the second half, Chad Arrington (Randallstown, Md./Randallstown) converted a three-point play with 17:52 on the clock to start the Green Terror rally.
Layups from Josh McKay (Baltimore, Md./Eastern Tech) and Arrington pulled the visitors within seven before Daniel Selig halted a 3-minute, 29-second scoring drought with a layup of his own.
Jones responded with one of his four 3-pointers and the first three of his 18 second-half points to trim the deficit to six.
After a single Louis Sarris-Grau (Huntington Valley, Pa./Lower Moreland) free throw made it a 47-43 game with 10:25 showing, Baker hit a layup to stretch the lead back to six.
Jones once again canned a triple to slice the deficit in half but a James McNally basket-and-foul re-established the six-point advantage.
Two Ryan Finch (Flemington, N.J./Hunterdon) free throws sandwiched between baskets from Jones and McKay knotted the game at 52 with 7:04 to play.
After four ties over the next nearly five minutes, Baker hit the first of two free throws with 1:33 on the clock, breaking a 62-all deadlock and putting Franklin & Marshall on top for good.
Another Baker jumper stretched the lead to three and two Scovill charity tosses pushed the advantage to five with 32 seconds showing.
A Finch triple pulled the visitors within 67-65 but McNally and Scovill combined to go 4-for-6 from the line in the waning seconds to preserve the win.
Three Jones free throws on McDaniel’s opening possession staked his squad to a 3-0 lead just 22 seconds into game.
Neither team opened an advantage of more than three points until a Brooks 3-pointer and Selig free throws turned a 10-all deadlock into a 14-10 lead with 13:25 on the clock.
A Kevin Henry (Potomac, Md./Bullis School) jumper capped a 9-0 Green Terror run that turned that four-point deficit into a five-point lead with 8:06 showing.
The Diplomats countered with an 18-5 run over the final 7:24 of the period to take a 10-point advantage into the locker room.
McDaniel returns to action at Dickinson on Monday. Game time is 8 p.m.