READING, Pa. — No. 25 Franklin & Marshall fell 79-63 to Albright in men's basketball action Friday evening. The loss is the first for F&M this season as the Diplomats dropped to 8-1 while the Lions improved to 7-1.
F&M started out with an 8-7 lead early in the game, but the Lions went on a 6-0 spurt to go out front 13-8 with a little less than 15 minutes to play. Albright increased their lead to 23-12 three minutes later, and F&M slowly chipped away when a Matthew Tate layup at 4:17 brought F&M with nine, 32-23. Albright answered and outscored F&M 9-5 to take a 41-28 lead into the break.
A Tate triple two minutes into the second brought F&M within nine, 45-36. F&M stayed within striking distance and a three from Matt Redhead made it a seven-point game, 51-44, but the Lions quickly increased their lead to double-digits. Brandon Federici's trey made again brought the Diplomats within seven, 62-55, but that was as close as F&M would get as the Lions put together an 8-2 run for a 13-point, 70-57, lead with 2:18 left to play. The Lions maintained a double-digit edge the remainder of the game to secure the win.
Brandon Federici hit 9-of-18 from the floor and finished with 25 points to go along with five rebounds and Matthew Tate ended with 19 points. Matt Redhead added seven off the bench and Lionel Owona grabbed a team-high 10 rebounds.
F&M returns on Dec. 29 when the Diplomats host the Sponaugle New Year's Tournament. The Diplomats face Randolph at 7:30 p.m. after Hartwick takes on Delaware Valley at 5:30 p.m.