25th-ranked Franklin & Marshall Tops Johns Hopkins, 65-59
• Score: #25 Franklin & Marshall-65, Johns Hopkins-59
• Records: JHU (7-1, 3-1 CC) • FMC (8-0, 4-0 CC)
• Location: Lancaster, PA • Mayser Center
• The Short Story: The first-ever match-up between two 7-0 teams in Centennial Conference history, lived up to the billing. Host and 25th-ranked Franklin & Marshall rallied in the second half to defeat Johns Hopkins, 65-59, on Wednesday night.
How it Happened
• Trailing by 17 with 17:45 to play after a pair of Michael Gardner free throws, Lionel Owona got a bucket down low to spark a 16-2 run. The run spanned more than seven and a half minutes and was capped by a fast-break layup Matthew Tate that pulled Franklin & Marshall within one. Brandon Federici accounted for half of the Diplomats’ points during the run.
• Junior Daniel Vila pushed the lead back to three with a basket in the paint, but J.C. McGrath answered on the other and it was 50-49 Hopkins with 9:19 to play.
• Junior Michael Gardner drained a three-pointer on the Blue Jays’ next possession to make it a four-point game. Back-to-back layups by Federici and McGrath tied the game for the first time since 14:36-mark of the first half.
• Freshman Conner Delaney answered with a triple from the corner to put Hopkins on top 56-53 with 6:13 on the clock. Federici hit a layup just 15 seconds later to ignite a 10-3 game-ending run that saw the home team complete the comeback and grab the 65-59 win.
• The teams went back-and-forth to start the game, trading punches over the first eight and a half minutes. Leading 16-14, Gardner drained a pull-up jumper to kick-start a 13-2 run that saw the Blue Jays’ lead balloon to 13. Sophomore Harry O’Neil punctuated the run with a fast-break bucket to put JHU up 29-16 with 6:36 to play in the half.
• The teams went back to trading buckets and it was 34-22 Blue Jays at the 3:12-mark. Freshman Joey Kern hit his third three-pointer of the half and then Delaney converted a conventional three-point play to push the lead to 18. Matt Redhead had the final say of the half with a three-pointer for the Dips to make it a 40-25 game at the break.
What it Means
• Hopkins falls to 38-64 against Franklin & Marshall and sees its three-game win streak in the series snapped.
• The Blue Jays suffer their first loss of the season as their season-opening seven-game win streak ends.
Inside the Box Score
• Gardner led the Blue Jays with 16 points and four assists. Kern finished with 15 points, scoring in double figures for the seventh time this season. Senior Kyle Doran also put up double digits, chipping in 11 points and six boards.
• Vila grabbed a game-high nine rebounds, while O’Neil had six as Hopkins outrebounded F&M, 35-32.
• Federici scored a game-high 30 points to lead the Diplomats. Tate was the only other player in double figures for the home team with 12 points and a game-high six assists.
• Hopkins will return to action on Friday, December 29 against New Jersey City at the Crowne Plaza Captains Shootout in Newport News, VA. Tip-off at the Freeman Center is slated for 5:30 pm.