Franklin & Marshall makes comeback
Clutch 10-0 run midway through second gives F&M advantage
Franklin & Marshall Athletics
LANCASTER, Pa. – Georgio Milligan scored a game-high 24 points to lead No. 22 Franklin & Marshall to an 80-73 victory against Muhlenberg in Centennial Conference (CC) action Sunday afternoon. The Mules had a chance to keep pace with Dickinson in the CC standings, but fell to 12-9, 8-6 CC. F&M made up for one of its two conference losses with the victory and improved to 17-4, 12-2 CC.
Muhlenberg started off strong with a 10-0 lead in the first four minutes. The Diplomats cut it to 12-9 after a James McNally jumper but the Mules responded with 6-0 run to lead 18-9 with 11:12 left in the first.
F&M battled to get within three at 31-28 after Steve Tolliver's layup with 1:09 left in the first half. Mike Baker converted on a pair of free throws to get the Diplomats within one, 31-30, with 33 seconds left before a Tolliver steal led to the senior being fouled at the buzzer. Tolliver drained both free throws with no time left to give F&M a 32-31 halftime lead.
The second half started out with seven lead changes and five ties, as the Mules edged ahead to hold a 46-45 edge at 14:43. That was last time Muhlenberg would lead as the Diplomats went on a 10-0 four-minute run to take their largest lead of the game at 56-46 with 10:42 to play. The teams traded buckets over the next eight minutes leading up to the final two minutes.
F&M held a nine-point edge courtesy of a Tolliver steal and layup with 1:58 remaining in the game. Muhlenberg cut the deficit to four points at 75-71 with two treys from Evan Tozer and a free throw with 43 seconds left in the contest. Brandon Beckford hit the backend of his two shots from stripe to put F&M up 76-71. The Mules countered with a Spencer Liddic layup with 20 seconds left before the Diplomats closed out the contest with clutch shooting from the line by Max Brewer and Milligan.
Beckford and Baker both finished with 14 points and six boards. Tolliver added 10 while Brewer finished with eight points. Milligan pulled down a team-high nine boards and dished four helpers.
Liddic paced Muhlenberg with 21 points. Kevin Hargrove turned in a double-double for the Mules with 17 points and 12 boards while Austin Curry netted 15 and Tozer ended with 11.
F&M held a 39-28 advantage on the glass, pulling down 16 on the offensive side, resulting in 18 second-chance points. The Diplomats shot 42 percent from field and almost 81 percent from the stripe.
With the win, coach Glenn Robinson is now one victory away from becoming only the 13th coach in NCAA history to reach the 800-win plateau. Robinson is also one game shy from coaching in his 1,100th contest in his 40 years at F&M.