Skip to navigation Skip to content Skip to footer

Franklin & Marshall holds on to first

Devon Lesniak © 2011 David Sinclair/McDaniel College
Devon Lesniak © 2011 David Sinclair/McDaniel College

Huge second half propels Diplomats past McDaniel in battle for top spot

LANCASTER, Pa. – Brandon Beckford netted a career-high 26 points to pace Franklin & Marshall to a 71-40 victory over McDaniel in Centennial Conference (CC) men's basketball action on Saturday.

In the battle for first place in the conference, the Diplomats (13-4, 8-2 CC) used a second half in which they outscored the Green Terror (9-8, 6-4 CC) by a 42-17 margin to exact revenge for a loss in Westminster 11 days earlier.

With the victory, Franklin & Marshall maintains a one-game lead on Gettysburg, which defeated Haverford. The Green Terror, Fords and Dickinson – a winner over Johns Hopkins on Saturday – are deadlocked in third place, two games behind.

Devon Lesniak (Westminster, Md./Winters Mill) recorded 15 points to pace McDaniel, which had its four-game winning streak snapped with the loss.

The Diplomats jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the first 2:33 of the game before four points from Lesniak keyed a 6-2 counter that knotted the game at 6-all with 14:23 to play in the first half.

Christopher Cowles (West Chester, Pa./Bayard Rustin), who hit the tying free throws, added a 20-foot jumper in the corner to give the Green Terror its only lead, 8-6.

Max Brewer responded with a 3-pointer that gave the hosts the lead for good with 13:10 to play in the first half. Steve Tolliver added a triple of his own and Jon Salandra converted a free throw after a dunk to account for a 9-0 run that put Franklin & Marshall on top 15-8 with 11:26 showing.

A Cullen Murray-Kemp (Trappe, Md./Easton) junper made it a 19-17 game but the Diplomats tallied 10 of the game's next 13 points to stretch the first-half lead to as many as nine before Lesniak hit a triple to trim the deficit to 29-23 at the break.

Clinging to a 32-27 lead after a pair of Lesniak free throws with 16:05 on the clock, Beckford hit a trey to spark a 15-0 run over the game's next 3:03.

A Louis Sarris-Grau (Huntingdon Valley, Pa./Lower Moreland) layup with 11:21 to play momentarily halted the run but Hayk Gyokchyan put back a Salandra miss to return the lead to 20.

Leading 53-33 after a Murray-Kemp layup, Mike Baker converted from short range with 9:14 showing to ignite an 11-0 burst for a 33-point advantage with 5:01 to play en route to the largest margin of victory in the series since the Diplomats were victorious 85-54 on Nov. 23, 2004.

McDaniel returns to action at home against Swarthmore on Wednesday. Game time is 7 p.m.


Making the grade
June 16, 2011 Making the grade
Lesniak named All-CC
February 23, 2011 Lesniak named All-CC
Haverford holds off McDaniel
February 23, 2011 Haverford holds off McDaniel
Going dancing!
February 16, 2011 Going dancing!
More changes to schedule
January 26, 2011 More changes to schedule
McDaniel powers past Ursinus
January 15, 2011 McDaniel powers past Ursinus
Boone paces Alvernia to win
December 19, 2010 Boone paces Alvernia to win
Ward hits pair late for win
November 23, 2010 Ward hits pair late for win
McDaniel holds off Washington
November 19, 2010 McDaniel holds off Washington