LANCASTER, PA.—Franklin & Marshall is headed back to the dance. The Diplomats earned their third straight NCAA Tournament appearance with a 65-55 victory over Dickinson in the Centennial Conference (CC) Championship Sunday on Glenn Robinson at Mayser Center. The CC title is the second in a row and the sixth CC crown for F&M. The Diplomats have now won 12 out of their last 13 games.
F&M advances to NCAA Tournament for the 22nd time and Glenn Robinson picked up his 23rd season with 21 or more victories. F&M will receive an automatic bid to the NCAA Playoffs. The NCAA Division III Men's Basketball Committee will make its selection of teams for the 2011 NCAA Division III Men's Basketball Championship tonight. The announcement will be presented via webcast on www.NCAA.com beginning at 1 p.m. eastern time Monday. The bracket will also be posted on www.NCAA.com at approximately 1:30 p.m. Hayk Gyokchyan finished with his first double-double of the year with 16 points and 13 boards, both game-highs. Mike Baker collected double-double number nine this season with an 11 point, 10 rebound performance. Georgio Milligan finished with 15 points, going 11-for-15 from the stripe.
Matt Dolan was the only Red Devil to score in double-figures with 11 points.
The Diplomats (22-5) opened the game with a 10-0 lead as Dickinson struggled to hit their shots. The Red Devils (15-12) answered by outscoring F&M 9-2 to come within three, 12-9, at 9:22. Both teams traded buckets down the stretch with the Diplomats holding a 21-16 edge going into the break.
Chris Heine hit two quick treys to put Dickinson within a point, 23-22, two minutes into the second half. F&M quickly answered with a 12-0 run that spanned nearly four minutes. Four players scored in the run that gave the Diplomats their largest lead of the game, 35-22, at 14:16.
F&M maintained at least a seven-point edge until the final minute of the contest. Matt Dolan hit two foul shots at with 40 seconds to go to put the Red Devils within six. Milligan and Gyokchyan both hit two from the stripe to put the Diplomats up 10, 63-53, with 28 seconds remaining. Dickinson failed in their next possession and Max Brewer drained two from the line for a 12-point F&M edge before Dickinson hit a bucket with seven seconds on clock for the 65-55 final.
The Diplomats held a commanding 40-21 edge on the glass including 16 on the offensive side, resulting in 14 second-chance points.