Second Half Surge Propels Diplomats over Blue Jays

Second Half Surge Propels Diplomats over Blue Jays

LANCASTER, Pa. — No. 25 Franklin & Marshall outscored Johns Hopkins 40-19 in the second half to erase a 15-point halftime deficit and defeat the Blue Jays 65-59 in Centennial Conference (CC) men's basketball action Wednesday evening. The Diplomats remained undefeated and improved to 8-0, 4-0 CC while the Blue Jays fell to 7-1, 3-1 CC. 

F&M took an early 5-4 edge two minutes into the game and Johns Hopkins answered with a 9-4 run and took a 13-9 lead at 12:21. F&M came within two, 16-14, but Hopkins netted six straight to go out front by eight. Two free throws from Matt Groll made it 22-16, but Hopkins quickly went up double-figures and took a 15-point lead, 40-25, into the break. 

The Diplomats came out of the break and went on an 18-6 run over the opening seven minutes of the half to come within three, 46-43, at 12:51. The Blue Jays held a four-point edge, 53-49, at 8:51, but the Diplomats countered with a 9-3 spurt and took their first lead of the half, 58-56, with 2:09 left to play. 

Hopkins tied the game at 58-58 with a little under two minutes to play, but Brandon Federici scored four straight to put the Diplomats out front for good. Hopkins came within three, before F&M closed out the game going 3-for-4 from the stripe to secure the win. 

Federici finished with a season-high 30 points, shooting 12-for-18 from the floor to go along with five boards and four assists. Matthew Tate hit 5-for-5 from the line and ended with 12 points and six helpers and Matt Groll finished the game with eight points and seven boards. Lionel Owona added six points and four steals for the Diplomats. 

F&M returns to action on Friday when the Diplomats travel to Albright for a 7:00 p.m. game.