A year ago, the McDaniel men's basketball team took down mighty Franklin & Marshall, sparking celebration and jubilation.
When the Diplomats came to Gill Center this time, the Green Terror couldn't provide the same upset heroics with a win over their nationally-ranked foe. No. 17 Franklin & Marshall took control early, McDaniel never mounted a serious comeback threat in the second half, and the Terror fell 59-43 on Thursday night.
"That was one of our worst offensive games, and that makes it a lot tougher on defense," McDaniel senior guard Wes Brooks said. "When we don't play offense, that means we have to play even better 'D,' and that really killed us."
When the Diplomats came to Westminster to face the Terror last January, they were again nationally ranked and suffered their first loss of the season. This time, the Dips prevented that from happening and avoided suffering their first conference loss of the year.
Franklin & Marshall (9-2, 4-0 Centennial) outrebounded McDaniel 35-17. The Diplomats also had 11 offensive boards, while the Green Terror (5-5, 2-2) had just two.
It was the first time McDaniel failed to score 50 points this season.
"We didn't get into a rhythm and I thought they did a good job of doubling the post," McDaniel coach Kevin Curley said. "I thought we played hard, but I thought they were just a little bit more physical."
Senior forward Tim Stewart led the Terror with 16 points, while Brooks added 11. Senior forward Cedric Moune led the Diplomats with 18 points on 9-for-13 shooting and 12 rebounds.
McDaniel trimmed an deficit to four points with 5 minutes, 18 seconds to go in the first half when freshman Austin Cannon (Manchester Valley) drove to the lane and made a layup to cut F&M's lead to 20-16. But then, the Diplomats went on a big run keyed by sophomore guard Brandon Federici, the Centennial Conference's leading scorer.
Federici hit a pair of jumpers in a span of 30 seconds, the second of which was a 3-pointer from the right wing that pushed the Diplomats' lead to nine with 4:26 until halftime. F&M then made three of its last four shots before the break, with Moune's layup with five seconds remaining giving the Dips a 33-20 halftime lead.
There was sloppy play from both squads at times during the first half — Franklin & Marshall had 10 turnovers and McDaniel had seven. Stewart scored 10 of the Green Terror's 20 points in the first half. The rest of McDaniel's team combined to shoot 4-for-13 in the first 20 minutes.
The Diplomats pushed their lead to 18 when junior guard Jared Wright completed a three-point play with 11:15 remaining. That capped a 9-2 run, that featured more than six minutes without a field goal from the Terror.
McDaniel has lost four of its last five games and its last two against Centennial teams after opening the conference slate with wins over Dickinson and Johns Hopkins. However, those conference losses for the Terror have been against the Centennial's top two teams — they also lost to Swarthmore on Dec. 5.
"All we can do is learn from this and move on," Curley said. "We don't have time right now, we have four games in a week and we've got to get ready for Ursinus [on Saturday]."
The McDaniel women's basketball team took down Bryn Mawr 73-32 on Thursday night at Gill Center. Lindsey Nichols scored 16 points and Karli Zeps added 12 to lead the Green Terror (9-2). Zeps and Brittney Davis each dished out seven assists and Libby Dougherty pulled down a team-high eight rebounds.