Gettysburg College Men’s Basketball: Late run lifts F&M over Bullets

Franklin & Marshall held Gettysburg to just three points in the game’s final four minutes to turn a two-point deficit into a 65-56 win.

Akim Joseph led the Bullets with 16 points and six rebounds. Ryan McKeon chipped in 12 points and 10 rebounds.

Vakaris Grauslys led the Diplomats with a game-high 24 points, including going 12-for-13 from the free-throw line to go with two assists and three steals.

In a slow offensive start for both teams, Franklin & Marshall took a 9-4 lead with 14:10 to play in the opening half before Gettysburg countered with a 14-0 run – 12 of which came from Jordan Stafford (Galloway, N.J./St. Joseph Hammonton) and Carl Schaller to take an 18-9 lead nearly four minutes later. The Diplomats clawed back to a 22-all deadlock with 4:57 on the clock before the teams traded baskets down the stretch, and an Omar Nichols 3-pointer in the near corner beat the first-half buzzer to give the visitors a 33-30 advantage.

Franklin & Marshall quickly extended the lead to six in the opening minute of the first half and opened up a 45-36 advantage on two Vakaris Grauslys free throws with 14:43 remaining. Trailing 47-41,  Joseph hit a driving layup and converted the ensuing free throw with 7:59 on the clock to spark a 7-0 burst over the next 95 seconds to go back in front by one. After the teams traded buckets, Grauslys converted both ends of a 1-and-1 to tie the game at 53-all with 3:26 showing. A Grauslys steal-and-layup with 2:32 remaining gave the Diplomats the lead for good. It swelled to 62-53 on a Nichols free throw with 51 ticks remaining en route to the nine-point final margin.

Jordan Stafford rounded out a trio of double-digit scorers for the Bullets with 14 points. He added six rebounds as well.

Gettysburg returns to action at Washington (Md.) on Saturday. Game time is 3 p.m.

The original version of this story first appeared on the Gettysburg College website.

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