NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – Franklin & Marshall used a strong surge midway through the second half to defeat Emory & Henry in the first round of the NCAA Tournament Friday evening at Christopher Newport. The Diplomats improved to 21-6 and will take on the winner of CNU and Lancaster Bible in tomorrow's second round at CNU. Tip is slated for 7:00 p.m.
Visit F&M's schedule page to find out more details later this evening.
With the score tied a 9-9 six minutes into the first half, F&M netted five straight and took a 14-9 lead with 12:44 on the clock. The Wasps tied the game a minute later, before F&M went on an 11-0 run to go ahead 25-14 at 7:14. E&H slowly chipped away and made it a five-point game, but F&M outscored the Wasps 8-5 down the stretch and took a 37-29 edge into the break.
E&H came out the gate strong in the second and went on a 19-7 run over the opening seven minutes of the half to take a 48-44 lead at 13:03. F&M countered with a 9-4 spurt for a one-point, 53-52, edge at 10:11 and held a 55-54 lead two minutes later.
Then F&M hit another gear to put the game out of reach.
Ignas Slyka hit a triple on F&M's next possession that jump started a Matthew Tate-led 14-0 run to give F&M a 15-point, 69-54, lead at 1:26. Tate had seven in the run. The Diplomats went 8-for-8 down the stretch from the line to hold off any attempt by E&H.
Matthew Tate led all scorers with 17 points, hitting 6-for-15 from the floor and handing out eight assists. Brandon Federici netted 16 and Ignas Slyka scored 13 points to go along with seven rebounds.
Lionel Owona had huge first half and picked up a double-double with 11 points and 10 boards. J.C. McGrath hauled in seven rebounds with six points, Daniel Osley grabbed six boards and netted four and Matt Redhead chipped in six off the bench.
F&M outshot E&H 46-38-percent and held a 40-32 edge on the glass.