WESTMINSTER, Md. – Franklin & Marshall closed the game on a 12-4 run to defeat McDaniel 66-61 in the Centennial Conference (CC) men's basketball opener for both teams on Saturday.
Tim Stewart (Smyrna, Del./Smyrna) registered 17 points in his home debut for the Green Terror (1-2, 0-1 CC), who had built a nine-point advantage early in the second half.
Terrel Phelps paced the Diplomats (2-2, 1-0 CC) with 19 points, including exploding for 16 after halftime that included four of his five 3-pointers.
Trailing 55-52 after two Phelps free throws with 5:02 to play, Cameron Royster (Derwood, Md./Magruder) converted a three-point play 36 seconds later to even the game.
Stewart and Jon Salandra traded baskets nearly a minute apart for the ninth deadlock. However, Salandra converted the ensuing free throw on his three-point play to put Franklin & Marshall in front for good with 2:32 showing.
Matt Porter extended the lead to 60-57 with 1:34 remaining.
A Nic Martin (Hagerstown, Md./St. Maria Goretti) coast-to-coast layup after Porter missed the second of two free throws closed the margin to 63-61 with 11.4 seconds remaining but Cedric Moune hit both of his free throws at the other end and Morgan Lee converted one of two from the charity stripe to set the final margin.
Baskets from three different players allowed the Diplomats to jump out to a 7-0 lead 2:30 into the game before Wesley Brooks (North Wales, Pa./North Penn) hit a triple to key a 9-0 counter.
An Evan Pupelis (Manhasset, N.Y./Manhasset) putback gave McDaniel its first lead with 12:39 remaining.
Lee put the visitors on top 20-16 with 7:36 showing before Jimmy Cranwell (Brick, N.J./Rumson-Fair Haven), Phillip Perry (Crownsville, Md./Annapolis Area Christian) and Stewart each converted baskets for a 22-20 lad with 5:06 on the clock.
Triples from Stewart and Brooks around a Moune layup gave McDaniel a 30-25 lead at the break.
Martin converted a layup out of the intermission to stretch the advantage to seven.
A Duane Echols (Jessup, Md./Hammond) three-point play extended the advantage to 40-31 with 15:37 to play.
Still trailing 44-35, Phelps hit a 3-pointer with 13:23 showing to spark a 9-1 burst that closed the deficit to one just 2:42 later.
Brooks finished with a career-best 13 points. Cranwell added six points and nine rebounds.
McDaniel returns to action at Washington (Md.) on Tuesday. Game time is 7 p.m.