F&M defeats N.C. Wesleyan 69-56
Gyokchyan's career-high 18 points leads Diplomats
VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. -- Hayk Gyokchyan scored eight of his career-high 18 point in the decisive run as No. 18 Franklin & Marshall defeated North Carolina Wesleyan 69-56 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament Friday night. The Diplomats will face host Virginia Wesleyan or Delaware Valley tomorrow evening at 7:00 pm.
With the score tied at 48 and 6:02 remaining in the game, F&M (23-5) put together an 11-3 run that spanned four minutes to take a 60-51 lead with 2:22 remaining in the game. The Battling Bishops (21-7) came within seven points twice down the stretch, but Georgio Milligan drained all six of his foul shots in the final two minutes to help secure the victory.
Milligan finished with a game-high 22 points on 7-for-14 shooting. He added four assists and three steals. Gyokchyan's points came from 6-for-7 shooting on the floor and 6-for-9 shooting from the stripe. Mike Baker picked up his ninth double-double of the season with 10 points and 11 boards. James McNally added nine points.
Domarius Thomas paced the Battling Bishops with 21 points and Matt Dougherty added 11.
The game started out slow as both teams struggled to hit their shots. F&M held a slight lead, 14-11, at 11:04 before N.C. Wesleyan answered with a 7-2 run to take an 18-14 lead at 7:25. The Diplomats responded with five straight points to regain the lead at 19-18. Both teams traded buckets before F&M closed out the half on a 10-2 run to take a 32-25 edge into the break.
N.C. Wesleyan opened up the second stanza with an 11-3 run to take a 36-35 advantage at 14:51. Four lead changes and three ties ensued over next the eight minutes before Gyokchyan took over in the decisive run.
F&M outshot N.C. Wesleyan 46-percent to 40-percent and held a 36-31 advantage on the glass. The Diplomat shot almost 58-percent from two-point range.
Glenn Robinson moved up on the all-time NCAA wins lists. He passed Eddie Sutton and moved the 12th spot with 805 career victories.
F&M improved its mark to 40-25 in the NCAA Tournament.