Late First Half Surge Leads F&M Past Keystone

Late First Half Surge Leads F&M Past Keystone

La Plume, Pa. -- Franklin & Marshall erased a 23-point first-half deficit to defeat Keystone 82-75 in men's basketball action Tuesday evening. The Diplomats remain unbeaten this season at 3-0 while the Giants dropped to 0-1.  

The Giants took control early and jumped out to a 9-4 lead two minutes into the contest with three consecutive three-pointers.  F&M came within four, 11-7, on a Morgan Lee free throw at 14:31, but Keystone went on a 27-4 run over the next seven minutes and took a 38-15 lead at 7:02. The Diplomats countered with a similar run, outscoring Keystone 26-3 over the final minutes of the first to tie the game at 41-41 heading into the break. 

Brandon Federici netted 12 of his 14 first-half points in the run while Cedric Moune added seven points for the Diplomats in the first. 

F&M continued the second half in the same fashion it ended the first with a 6-1 spurt to take the lead for good, 47-42, at 16:56.  Keystone threatened multiple times in the early minutes of the second, coming within three on numerous occasions, but the Diplomats answered every time maintaining the lead and took their largest lead, 57-49, on a Moune layup at 11:45. 

Keystone did not back down and a triple by James Cooper brought the hosts within a bucket, 67-65, with a little under eight to play.  The Diplomats answered by outscoring Keystone 9-2 over the next four minutes of action to go up 76-67 at the four-minute mark. The Giants stayed close and made it a three-point game with 47 ticks on the clock, but the Diplomats went 6-for-6 from the charity stripe down the stretch to secure the victory. 

Federici shot 11-for-18 from the floor, including 4-for-8 from behind the arc and finished with a career-high 28 points. Moune went 4-for-5 from the field in 33 minutes of action for 15 points and Lee ended with 14 points on 4-of-9 shooting. 

Duncan Lunsford led Keystone with 19 points, Copper netted 13 while Miles Dargan and Darien Wingate both finished with 10 points. 

F&M dominated on the glass with a 41-24 margin, forced 19 turnovers and held a 57-43 percent edge in shooting. 

The Diplomats open Centennial Conference action at home on Saturday with a 3 p.m. showdown against McDaniel.