No. 17 Franklin & Marshall Too Much for Garnet, 77-47
LANCASTER, Pa. - No. 17 Franklin & Marshall saw four different players reach double-figures and its defense stymie Swarthmore's (5-14, 4-8) offense all game long, as the Diplomats (16-3, 10-2) dominated the Garnet 77-47 on Saturday afternoon in Centennial Conference action.
Freshman Will Gates scored a game-high 22 points and pulled down seven rebounds while freshman Sean Conroe scored a career-high seven points for the Garnet, who saw their two-game winning streak snapped by the Diplomats.
James McNally, the Centennial Conference's second leading scorer, led the way with 19 points and 11 rebounds for the Diplomats. Hayk Gyokchyan (12), Mike Baker (12) and Gergio Milligan (10) also scored in double-figures to lead the balanced F&M offense.
After winning its past two games thanks to an efficient, balanced offensive attack and a puzzling zone defense, the Garnet struggled to get it going on either end of the floor against the Diplomats. The Garnet finished the game shooting just 30 percent from the field while allowing the Diplomats to score 77 points and shoot an impressive 54 percent from the floor to hand Swat its worst defeat of the season.
Swarthmore finished the game shooting 5-of-13 from three, but would only connect on 9-of-33 shots from inside the arc.
A lay-up from senior captain Matt Allen gave the Garnet an early 5-4 lead with 16:58 left in the first half, but Franklin & Marshall would respond with a commanding run that would set the tone for the rest of the game. During the next nine minutes, Franklin & Marshall would outscore the Garnet 14-2, with a lay-up from F&M's Gyokchyan giving the Diplomats a commanding 22-8 lead.
From there, the Diplomats extended the lead to as large as 17 points in the first half while the Garnet continued to struggle putting the ball in the basket - shooting just 28 percent from the field for the opening half.
A three-pointer from Gates cut the lead to 28-14 with 4:21 remaining, but from that point, the offense went cold again and Swat would not score again for the remainder of the half. Franklin & Marshall would take a 30-14 lead heading into halftime.
It was more of the same in the second half, as Swat continued to struggle to find any offensive rhythm and the Diplomats continued to light up the scoreboard. F&M built a lead as large as 37, en route to the 77-47 win.
The Diplomats held significant advantages in rebounding (39-24) and free-throw shooting (78% to 52%).
Gates has now shared the scoring lead in the Garnet's past nine games.
Swarthmore men's basketball head coach Lee Wimberly and Franklin & Marshall head coach Glenn Robinson were both wearing sneakers on the sidelines in support of Coaches vs. Cancer.
The Garnet return to action on Wednesday with a trip to Muhlenberg. Action is slated to begin at 8:00 p.m.