Five Centre men’s basketball players scored in double-figures to lift the Colonels to an 84-78 victory over visiting Franklin in a non-conference contest on Wednesday night at Alumni Gymnasium. Centre improved to 3-2 with its second straight triumph while the Grizzlies dropped to 2-2 on the season.
The Colonels shot a season-high 57.4 percent (27-of-47) from the floor in the win, including a sizzling 66.7 percent (14-of-21) in the second half of action.
With the score knotted at 2-2 early in the game, sophomore guard Jarod Griffin (Lexington, Ky.) scored 10 consecutive points for Centre, knocking down a pair of 3-pointers to put the Colonels ahead 12-5 with just under 16 minutes showing on the clock. A jump shot by freshman guard Bailey Rakes (Mt. Washington, Ky.) extended the run to 12-3 to give Centre a 14-5 advantage.
The Colonels would lead by as many as 10 in the first half en route to the 39-31 edge heading into the locker room.
The Grizzlies opened the second half with a 12-6 surge to shrink the Centre lead to 45-43, when the Colonels responded with a 20-6 run keyed by eight points by Bates to give Centre a 65-49 advantage with 8:25 remaining. Freshman guard Art Walker (Mt. Sterling, Ky.) capped the spurt with a pair of 3-pointers for the Colonels.
Centre held 14-point advantage at 77-63 after a jump shot by sophomore guard Tucker Sine (Bowling Green, Ky.) with just under four minutes to play, when Franklin used a 10-1 surge to shrink the Colonels’ lead to five at 78-73 at the 43 second mark of the second half.
Despite the Grizzlies shooting 5-of-6 from the field including 3-of-4 from behind the arc in the final 1:32 of action, Gruber and Sine combined connected on 6-of-6 shots from the free throw line down the stretch to seal the 84-78 non-conference win for Centre.
Sine paced Centre with 17 points on 5-of-6 shooting, connecting on 2-of-3 shots from behind the arc and 5-of-6 from the charity stripe followed by Bates with 14 markers, making 5-of-6 field goals and 4-of-5 shots from the free throw line. Bates also added a team-high six boards for the Colonels.
Walker chipped in 13 points on the night, draining 4-of-5 shots from long range and 1-of-2 free throws, while senior guard Sam Gruber (LaGrange, Ky.) made 3-of-5 field goals, including 2-of-4 3-pointers to go with a perfect 4-of-4 from the free throw line.
Griffin finished with 11 points and a game-high seven assists for Centre.
Aaron Mann led the Grizzlies with game-highs of 18 points on 8-of-17 shooting and eight rebounds, followed by Robbie Prather with 17, John Beineke with 13 and Blake Oakley with 10 markers.
Centre shot 50.0 percent (10-of-20) from downtown and 74.1 percent (20-of-27) from the charity stripe in the victory.
Rebounds were an even 29-29 in the contest, but the Colonels held advantages of 10-2 in fastbreak points and 45-14 in bench points.
The Grizzlies outscored Centre 44-20 in the paint in the game.
The Colonels open Southern Athletic Association (SAA) play this Saturday, Dec. 3 hosting Sewanee at 3 p.m. ET at Alumni Gymnasium.
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by Liam P. Halferty