LANCASTER, Pa. – Franklin & Marshall withstood a late surge by Bethany and defeated the Bison 72-70 in the second game of the William Marshall Tip Off Tournament on Friday evening. F&M improved to 2-0 and will face Alvernia, a 72-62 winner over Lancaster Bible, in tomorrow's championship game at 7:30 p.m. Bethany dropped to 0-2 and faces off with LBC in the consolation game tomorrow at 5:30 p.m.
F&M jumped out to a 6-1 lead early in the game and went on 14-6 run, with eight points from Brandon Federici, over the next five minutes to take a 20-7 lead at 11:41. The Bison countered with a 12-2 spurt to come within three, 22-19, with 7:59 left in the first. The Diplomats answered with a 6-2 spurt to go out front 28-21, but Bethany answered again with seven straight and tied the game at 28-28 with 4:26 remaining. F&M countered and closed out the half on a 9-2 run and took a 37-31 lead into the break.
The Diplomats went up 11, 48-37, early in the second and maintained a double-digit lead, 58-47, with 11:28 on the clock. Bethany answered with a 16-5 run over the next four minutes and tied the game at 63-63 at 7:06. F&M went back up three, before the Bison tied the game at 67-67 with a little over four minutes to play. Matthew Tate hit a three to put F&M back on top, but Bethany answered at 1:31 and tied the game at 70-70.
Matt Groll finished off a nice pass from Ignas Slyka at 1:10 to make it 72-70 and after a few misses by F&M down the stretch, the Bison had the ball with nine ticks on the clock. Slyka forced pressure on the inbound causing Liam Davis to get called with a backcourt violation and secure the win for F&M.
Federici finished with 25 points and seven boards while Groll ended with a double-double with 13 points and 13 rebounds. Tate had 12 points on 5-for-11 shooting and McGrath ended with eight.