Diplomats Survive Bethany in Tip-Off Opener

Diplomats Survive Bethany in Tip-Off Opener

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. 

Federici led all scorers with 17 points and four rebounds, Matt Groll tallied four with six boards and J.C. McGrath netted six in the opening frame.  

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.