The McKendree University men’s basketball team returned from the holiday break Friday night by posting a 96-74 victory at home against Robert Morris University-Peoria.
Making his 2016-17 season debut, senior guard David Franklin notched a double-double with game-high totals of 29 points and 14 rebounds to lead a second-half surge for the Bearcats. McKendree earned its fourth consecutive victory to improve to 6-4 on the year. Franklin also dished out six assists to match senior guard Kyle Yates in the effort. The 14 rebounds collected by Franklin on Friday night also marks a career-high for the senior tri-captain.
Senior guard Michael Jackson added 23 points and four assists for McKendree. Sophomore guard Nate Michael contributed 13 points and four assists while junior guard Justin Blanks came off the bench to post 12 points. Freshman center Nolan Gerling also reached double figures in the scoring column for the Bearcats with 10 points while hauling in eight rebounds.
Franklin led the Great Lakes Valley Conference in scoring last season at 21.7 points per game. He was also third in the league in rebounding at 8.1 per outing. He recorded a conference-best eight double-doubles a year ago.
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Rhode Island 90, Saint Louis 56
At St. Louis, Kuran Iverson scored 19 points and E.C. Matthews added 17 as Rhode Island won for the first time on the road this season, running away from Saint Louis, 90-56, in an Atlantic 10 Conference opener on Friday night.
Rhode Island (9-4, 1-0) shot 63 percent in the second half.
Aaron Hines and Elliott Welmer led the Billikens (4-9, 0-1) with 14 each.