WESTMINISTER, Md. – Franklin & Marshall closed out the final 3:28 of action with an 11-4 run to defeat McDaniel 66-61 in the Centennial Conference (CC) men's basketball season opener for both teams Saturday afternoon. The win is the second straight for the Diplomats as they improved to 2-2, 1-0 CC while the Green Terror fell to 1-2, 0-1 CC.
The Diplomats took a 55-52 edge with five minutes left in the game with two free throws by Terrel Phelps. McDaniel answered and scored five straight to take a 57-55 lead with 3:38 left to play before, Jon Salandra led F&M on the decisive run with five points in the final minutes of action.
F&M jumped out to an early 7-0 lead 2:30 into the game before the Green Terror countered with a 9-0 run of their own to go up 9-7 at 12:39. The teams matched baskets over the next seven minutes of action resulting in a 20-20 game at 5:06 before McDaniel outscored the Diplomats 10-5 and took a 30-25 lead into the break.
McDaniel increased its lead to nine, 40-31, at 15:39 in the second half and held onto a 44-35 advantage with at 13:54. Phelps drained a trey at 13:23 to start a 9-1 run and brought the Diplomats within a point, 45-44, at 10:41.
The teams traded points over the next two minutes with McDaniel leading 49-48 when Phelps hit another tripled to F&M up 51-49 with 8:04 left to play. F&M increased its lead to 55-52 at 5:02, which led the final five minutes of action.
Phelps had a game-high 19 points, hitting 5-of-9 from behind the arc. Morgan Lee chipped in 15 with 6-for-8 shooting from the floor and Matt Porter netted 12 for F&M. Cedric Moune contributed 10 points with seven rebounds while Jon Salandra finished seven points and eight blocks for the Diplomats.
Tim Stewart led the way for McDaniel with 17 points and Wesley Brooks finished with 13. Cameron Royster and Evan Pupelis came of the bench and netted seven apiece for the Green Terror.
F&M returns to action on Tuesday when the Diplomats host Johns Hopkins at 8:00 p.m.