LANCASTER, Pa. – Four players scored in double-figures to lead Franklin & Marshall to an 81-74 win over Albright in the season opener for both teams. The Diplomats improved to 1-0, while the Lions fell to 0-1.
F&M took an early 6-0 lead two minutes into the game, but the Lions countered with a 13-7 run and tied the game at 13-13 with 14:44 on the clock. F&M scored four straight to go ahead before the teams traded points over the next five minutes resulting in six ties with Albright coming out on top with a three-point, 32-29, lead with 4:37 remaining. The Diplomats ended the half strong with an 11-4 run and took a 40-36 lead into the break.
The Diplomats put together a 15-8 run to start the second and took an 11-point, 55-44, lead at 13:49. Albright answered with a 12-2 run over next three minutes and came within a point, 57-56. F&M countered and increased its lead to 67-61 at 6:25 and held an eight-point advantage, 75-67, with a little less than two to play. Albright came within five four times down the stretch and a J.C. McGrath combined with two free throws from Matt Redhead with under 20 seconds to play put the game out of reach.
Matt Redhead picked up a double-double with 22 points and 14 rebounds, shooting 8-for-15 from the field. Justin Kupa also scored 22 points while J.C. McGrath netted 14 with six boards and Ignas Slyka ended with 10 points and three steals.
F&M held a 41-34 edge on the glass, while shooting percentage belonged to Albright at 51-43-percent.
The Diplomats return to action on Friday when F&M hosts Alvernia is the second game of William Marshall Tip Off Tournament at 7:30 p.m.