LANCASTER, Pa. – J.C. McGrath recorded career-highs with 16 points and 11 rebounds to help lead Franklin & Marshall to an 84-72 victory over Washington in Centennial Conference (CC) action Thursday evening. The Diplomats improved to 9-5, 3-4 CC while the Shoremen fell to 5-9, 1-6 CC.
Hunter Eggers scored seven points in the opening four minutes to give F&M an early 12-1 lead. A three-point play from Jordan Phelps made it 23-10, before Washington went on a 10-4 spurt to come within seven, 27-20, with 7:21 left in the first. The Diplomats countered with a 14-5 run over the next four minutes to go up 16, 41-25, with a little more than three minutes left in the half. The Shoremen responded by outscoring F&M 8-2 the remainder of the half, with F&M holding onto a 43-33 lead at the break.
Eggers shot 6-for-10 from the floor in the opening stanza for 13 points and Brandon Federici netted nine, hitting 3-of-4 from behind the arc.
F&M quickly went back up double-figures when an Ignas Slyka triple made it 49-36 early in the second. Washington came within eight, 51-43, before F&M netted six straight for a 14-point lead at 11:58. Six straight from Washington made 59-51 and the Diplomats responded with a 14-6 run to go up 16, 73-57, with 4:20 left to play. The Shoremen came as close as eight, but the Diplomats were able to hold a double-digit advantage down the stretch to secure the victory.
McGrath finished with a double-double for the first time this season after shooting 6-for-9 from the floor. He also added six blocks to his line. Eggers led all scorers with 25, hitting 9-of-15 shots while Federici and Phelps both netted 11. Slyka was the fifth Diplomats in double-figures with 10 and Jared Wright ended the day with seven points and five assists.
F&M outshot Washington 54-40-percent and held a 40-32 edge on the glass.
The Diplomats return to action on Saturday when F&M travels to Swarthmore for a 3:00 p.m. contest.