Greencastle, Ind. - Luke Lattner scored 27, while David Vogel and Jack VandeMerkt knocked in career highs of 19 and 15 points, respectively, to lead DePauw to an 84-79 win over visiting Franklin in the Tigers' season opener. The Grizzlies dropped to 0-2 with the loss.
The Tigers jumped out to an early 8-2 lead before Franklin took a four-point advantage on three occasions with the last coming at 22-18 with 11:00 left in the first half. DePauw then scored eight straight capped by Lattner's layup with 7:14 left to give the hosts a 26-22 lead.
Franklin knotted it at 33-33, but DePauw went to the break with a 38-37 lead.
DePauw quickly stretched the margin to seven with an 8-2 run to start the second half that included a bucket by VandMerkt and a pair of threes from Vogel. The Grizzlies came right back with seven straight to tie it at 46-46.
Six ties and five lead changes followed before VandeMerkt broke a 60-60 tie with a layup and Vogel followed with a fast break lay-in after Bradley Fey's steal. DePauw was able to extend the lead to as many as eight at 75-67, but the Grizzlies closed to within two at 78-76 with just over one minute left.
Lattner hit one of two free throws, but Franklin's Aaron Mann was whistled for an offensive foul and Lattner knocked in a pair of charity tosses with 37 seconds left to give the Tigers an 81-76 advantage. Franklin then missed three three-point attempts before the Tigers rebounded and VandMerkt nailed two free throws to seal the win.
Lattner's 27 came on 9-of-15 from the floor along with nine from the free throw line, while Vogel poured in five three-pointers. VandeMerkt led DePauw with six rebounds, while Fey dished out five assists.
Aaron Mann led Franklin with 26 points with Robbie Prather adding 22 and John Beineke 10. Mann grabbed a game-high seven rebounds with Trae Washington handing out four assists.
DePauw shot 50 percent for the game including 57.7 percent in the second half, while holding Franklin to 43.9 percent for the contest and just 37.9 percent in the opening 20 minutes.
The Tigers also held a 41-33 edge on the boards with each grabbing 15 offensive rebounds and Franklin holding a 19-11 edge in second-chance points.
DePauw travels to St. Louis this weekend to compete in Washington University's Lopata Classic. The Tigers face Johns Hopkins on Friday at 6 p.m. CST.