Lexington, Ky. - The Franklin College women's basketball team advanced to the semifinals of the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference (HCAC) tournament with a 55-49 victory over Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology on Friday from Transylvania University.
Franklin (14-12) will play No. 2-seed Hanover College on Saturday, March 1 at 5 p.m. The Grizzlies ended the game on a 15-8 run over the final eight minutes.
Rose-Hulman (10-16) took a 10-5 lead after a pair of free throws by Josie Schmidt. The five-point margin would mark the largest lead for either team in the first 20 minutes.
Franklin took a 14-13 lead midway through the period following a three-point field goal by freshman Kayle Comer (Brownsburg, Ind./Brownsburg). Rose-Hulman held a 28-27 halftime edge after a layup from Gracie Gibbs with 19 seconds left.
In the second half, the Fightin' Engineers once again held a five-point lead, 40-35, after a three pointer by Kristen Belyea at the 11:43 mark. However, six straight points for Franklin gave the Grizzlies a 41-40 lead capped by a layup from freshman Lexi Ingram (Bloomington, Ind./Bloomington South) with 9:10 remaining.
After a Rose-Hulman basket, Ingram made a three-point field goal on the next possession to put Franklin ahead 44-42 at the 8:27 mark.
Later, junior Nichole Thompson (Greenwood, Ind./Greenwood) and freshman Mandy Fisher (Mooresville, Ind./Mooresville) made layups on consecutive possession to stretch the lead to 48-42 with 4:48 left. A pair of free throws by Thompson gave Franklin a 50-42 lead and capped a 9-0 run over a four-minute stretch.
However, Rose-Hulman answered with seven straight points to get within one point, 50-49, with 2:31 remaining.
Franklin sophomore Katie Brewer (Indianapolis, Ind./Roncalli) and Ingram each made one of two free throw attempts on two straight possessions to stretch the lead to 52-49 with 1:34 left. The Grizzlies added three free throws in the final minute to record the victory.
Comer and Thompson each led the team with 12 points. Comer made two three-point field goals. Fisher added 11 points and had three assists.
Rose-Hulman was led by Kristen Belyea with 12 points.