RICHMOND, Ind. – A career-high 35 points from senior Elijah Wilson-Thomas (Goldsboro, N.C./Massanutten) and four Quakers in double figures was not enough to withstand a late surge from the visiting Grizzlies, as Earlham College men's basketball fell to Franklin College, 90-80, on Saturday afternoon at the Druley Performance Gym.
Wilson-Thomas went 13-of-23 from the field including five 3-pointer on his way to the career-best effort, with three rebounds, three assists, and a steal completing the stat line. His 35 points versus the Grizzlies gives him 1,176 points for his career, and vaults the senior guard into 18th place among Earlham career scoring leaders.
He was joined in double digits by Kenneth Stalling Jr. (Gary, Ind./Thea Bowman) with 14 points, Jamel Barnes (Muncie, Ind./Muncie Central) with 11, and Chainey Zolman (North Manchester, Ind./Manchester) with 10. Zolman hauled down a team-best seven rebounds for the Quakers, while Barnes dished out five assists.
After four lead changes and four ties in the first half, Earlham (6-15, 4-10 Heartland) went into the break trailing by seven, 40-33.
The Quakers came after the Grizzlies hard to open the second half, with a Zolman trey setting the tone on Earlham's first possession. Another Zolman bucket at the 15:18 mark of the second half gave Earlham a 48-47 lead, and the Quakers extended their lead to six points, 67-61, with 8:26 showing on the game clock.
However, Earlham was outscored by Franklin 21-7 over the next five minutes, and the 14-point swing ended with the Grizzlies in front, 82-74 with just over three minutes remaining.
Franklin went 6-of-6 at the line over the final minute, part of its perfect 19-of-19 effort at the line over the entire 40 minutes, to preserve its lead for the upset win.
Earlham shot a respectable .446 (29-of-65) from the field and went 14-of-17 (.824) at the free-throw line, but that performance couldn't keep pace with a Franklin squad that went 30-of-51 (.588) from the floor. The Grizzlies were nearly undone by their 20 turnovers on the night, which yielded 27 Quaker points, while Earlham's 10 turnovers matched their second-lowest effort of the season.
Franklin (7-14, 6-8 Heartland) had four players in double digit scoring, led by Sam Gutierrez with 26 points. John Beineke added 16 with a game-high nine boards, while Kale Morris and Jordan Anderson chipped in 15 and 14 points respectively.
Earlham men's basketball plays its second-to-last home game of the 2017-18 season this Wednesday, Feb. 7, when the Quakers host Hanover College at 7:30 p.m. at the Druley Performance Gym.
For more information about Earlham men's basketball, visit the online home of Earlham College athletics at www.GoEarlham.com. Fans can also stay up-to-date on the latest Earlham athletics news by following Earlham Quakers on Facebook (Earlham Quakers Athletics), Twitter (@EarlhamQuakers), and Instagram (EarlhamQuakers).