WESTMINSTER, Md. – Franklin & Marshall built a 15-point lead before withstanding a McDaniel rally for an 80-70 Centennial Conference (CC) men's basketball victory on Saturday.
Tyler Rudd (Glen Burnie, Md./Glen Burnie) registered a career-best 19 points to lead four players in double figures for the Green Terror (1-4, 0-3 CC), who also got a career-best 16 points from Nic Martin (Hagerstown, Md./St. Maria Goretti). Andrew Merlo (Rehoboth, Del./Cape Henlopen) added 13 points while Evan Pupelis (Manhasset, N.Y./Manhasset) chipped in 10.
Hayk Gyokchyan paced the 11th-ranked Diplomats (5-0, 3-0 CC) with 25 points and 19 rebounds. Matt Porter added 22 points while Morgan Lee contributed 14.
After two ties and three lead changes in the first 3:20, Gyokchyan hit a 3-pointer and layup to give the visitors a 9-5 lead with 15:14 showing.
A Porter fast-break layup with 12:31 on the clock stretched the advantage to 17-9 before Pupelis responded with a layup 27 seconds later to spark a 10-1 run that put McDaniel back in front.
Five different Green Terror players scored during the run, capped by two Jimmy Cranwell (Brick, N.J./Rumson-Fair Haven) free throws with 8:50 remaining.
A Lee fast-break dunk on the other end, however, gave Franklin & Marshall a lead it would not relinquish.
A Phillip Perry (Crownsville, Md./Annapolis Area Christian) three-point play tied the game at 24-all with 6:33 to play before Gyokchyan hit a layup and Porter converted twice from short range to open up a 30-24 lead en route to a 38-31 halftime edge.
Rudd tallied the first points of the second half, drawing the hosts back within five with 18:15 showing before a Lee jumper and two Gyokchyan buckets stretched the lead to double digits for the first time just 2:12 later.
Trailing 66-51 after a Lee free throw with 6:19 to play, Rudd canned a triple 15 seconds later to spark a rally.
Gyokchyan kept it a 12-point advantage, hitting a layup with 2:52 on the clock to put the visitors on top 72-60 but Merlo hit a running layup and then converted the ensuing free throw a minute later to trim the deficit to nine.
Martin added a second straight three-point play with 1:28 remaining to close the deficit to six but the Diplomats went 6-for-6 from the line in the final minute to seal the win.
Perry chipped in seven points, four rebounds, four assists and four steals.
McDaniel returns to action at home against Johns Hopkins on Wednesday. Game time is 7 p.m.