January 14, 2014

Diplomats Drub Mules

ALLENTOWN, Pa. -- Franklin & Marshall won its eighth-straight game with a 76-64 victory over Muhlenberg in Centennial Conference (CC) men's basketball action Tuesday evening. The Diplomats improved to 10-4, 6-1 CC while the Mules dropped to 9-5, 4-3 CC. 

Tied at 5-5 three minutes into the game, F&M went on an 11-5 spurt and took a 16-10 lead off a Jon Salandra jumper with 12:19 left in the first. Muhlenberg countered by outscoring the Diplomats 7-3 over the next four minutes to come within two, 19-17, and tied the game at 21-21 two minutes later with 6:38 remaining until the break. The teams exchanged points before the Diplomats closed out the half strong with an 11-4 run to go into the half with a 35-28 advantage. 

Muhlenberg started the second stanza with seven unanswered points to make it a two-point contest, 39-36 and made it 39-38 on an Austin Curry layup at 17:02. That was as close as the Mules would get the remainder of the contest as the Diplomats answered with 13-4 run capped off by a trey from Matt Porter to go up 10 points, 52-42, at 12:48.

F&M increased its lead to 56-44 before the Mules slowly chipped away to come within four, 62-58, at 5:04. The Diplomats quickly responded with an 8-2 spurt to lead 70-60 with 1:14 left to play and closed out the half shooting 6-for-9 from the charity stripe in the final minute to secure the victory. 

Morgan Lee had season-high 19 points, shooting 9-for-14 from the floor and pulled down eight boards. Terrel Phelps also netted 19, going 5-for-7 from the line and handing out five assists. Salandra netted 15 and Cedric Moune finished with his fifth double-double of the season with 12 points and 13 rebounds. 

Malique Killing led all scorers with 22, Kevin Hargrove netted 14 and Alex Stavetski chipped in 12 for the Mules. 

F&M shot 49 percent from the floor and limited the Mules to 45 percent shooting and the Diplomats held a commanding 38-25 advantage on the glass. 

The Diplomats return to action on Saturday when F&M hosts McDaniel at 3:00 p.m.

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