BALTIMORE – Franklin & Marshall fell just short in a 67-61 setback to Johns Hopkins in Centennial Conference (CC) men's basketball action Thursday evening. The Diplomats dropped to 11-7, 5-6 CC, while the Blue Jays improved to 13-5, 10-1 CC
The Diplomats led early in the game with a 6-2 edge three minutes into the first half, before Hopkins strung together an 8-0 run and went out front 10-6. F&M came within two, 12-10, on a Zach Ravitz layup at 12:33 and stayed within striking distance, and went an 8-0 run to go ahead 22-21 with a little less than three left in the half. The teams traded baskets down the stretch with the Blue Jays taking a 27-26 edge at the break.
Five straight from the Blue Jays to open the second made it 32-26, but F&M answered with a 6-0 spurt to come with two, 34-32, at 16:10. An 8-0 run made it 42-32 in Hopkins favor and the Blue Jays held an 11-point lead, 52-41, with 7:23 left to play. F&M slowly chipped away over the next five minutes and a three from Justin Kupa at 1:38 brought the Diplomats within two, 57-55, but the Blue Jays hit 5-of-6 from the line in the final 30 seconds to secure the win.
Justin Kupa poured in a game-high 27 points, hitting 10-of-17 from the floor, while Solomon Mathis netted 11 off the bench. Les Thomas had seven and Matt Redhead along with J.C. McGrath ended with six each.
Rebounds belonged to F&M at 32-30, while the Blue Jays outshot F&M 45%-42%.
F&M returns to action Saturday when the Diplomats welcome Swarthmore to Mayser Center for a 3:00 p.m. game.