FRANKLIN, Ind. -- Success from beyond the three-point arc lifted Franklin College ahead of Earlham College men's basketball, 97-76, in a Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference contest on Saturday afternoon at the Spurlock Center.
Franklin pulled ahead midway through the first half on a 15-0 run, that left the Grizzlies with a 27-11 advantage with 10:06 left in the frame. Earlham rallied later in the half with a 19-2 run lasting nearly five-and-a-half minutes on the game clock, resulting in the Quakers taking a 34-32 lead with just over two minutes left in the half. Earlham would end the half leading Franklin, 38-37.
In the second half, Franklin regained the lead and extended its advantage by knocking down three straight three-point field goals, resulting in a 63-53 lead for the Grizzlies with 9:43 to play.
Franklin held off all Earlham rally efforts late in the second half, despite 14 points from Earlham's Darrell Hutchison Jr. over the final 10 minutes of the game. The Grizzlies went 17-of-19 at the free-throw line over the final five minutes, and finished the game with a 28-of-33 mark at the stripe on 22 Quaker fouls.
Hutchison finished the game with 28 points to lead the Quakers offensively. Junior forward Qawi Rucker continued the momentum from his 24-point performance on Wednesday against Transylvania with 19 points, nine rebounds, and two blocks on Saturday against Franklin. Sophomore guard Jamel Barnes remained a constant in the Quakers' offense with 16 points, five rebounds and three assists.
As a team, Earlham shot .500 (31-of-62) from the field, firing at a 50 percent-or-better clip from the floor for the third time this season. However, Franklin posted a .547 (29-of-53) field goal percentage, including an 11-of-20 mark from three-point range.
Earlham will be on the road again this Wednesday, Feb. 6, when it travels to Hanover. Tipoff will be at 7:30 p.m.