Diplomats Fall to Swarthmore; Federici Reaches 2,000 Points

Diplomats Fall to Swarthmore; Federici Reaches 2,000 Points

SWARTHMORE, Pa. – No. 24 Franklin & Marshall suffered a heart-breaking 58-56 defeat to No. 12 Swarthmore in Centennial Conference (CC) men's basketball action Saturday afternoon. With the win, the Garnet secured the top-seed in next weekend's CC Championship and improved to 21-4, 15-3 CC with their first win over F&M in five years. 

F&M dropped to 20-5, 14-4 with the loss and will be the second seed in the CC Tournament. The Diplomats will face third-seed Johns Hopkins in next weekend's semifinal at Swarthmore. Details will be posted Monday on GoDiplomats.com

Brandon Federici finished with 14 points to become the first player in the F&M and Centennial history to reach 2,000 points and one of just 120 players from all of Division III since 1975 to hit two grand.  

F&M took an early edge, 9-2, two minutes into the game and a J.C. McGrath jumper at 12:20 made it 15-8. The Garnet came within three, 17-14, before the Diplomats went on a 7-2 spurt to take a 24-16 lead at 6:31. Swarthmore stayed close and came within three, 26-23, at 2:54 and both teams netted five each down the stretch with F&M leading 31-28 at the break.

Swarthmore scored five straight to start the second and took a 33-31 lead two minutes into the half. The teams exchanged leads over the next five minutes with the Garnet clinging to a 40-38 edge at 11:34. F&M went ahead briefly on a Federici triple, 41-40, but the Garnet quickly regained the lead and the Diplomats eventually tied the game at 44-44 with a little less than nine minutes to play. 

Swarthmore put together a 12-5 run over the six minutes for a 56-49 lead at 2:44. F&M made it a one-possession game off a Lionel Owona layup and the Garnet retook a five-point, 58-53, with 56 ticks on the clock. Matthew Tate hit a triple to bring F&M within two and after two missed free throws by the Garnet, F&M had the final shot, but came up short as time expired.

J.C. McGrath, Matthew Tate and Federici all finished with 14 points. Lionel Owona had six boards with four points and three assists.