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RECAP | Defense Stifles Ravens as Grizzlies Pick Up First Win of 2017-18 Campaign

Isabella Ratliff defends against Anderson (Photo courtesy of Renee Knight)
Isabella Ratliff defends against Anderson (Photo courtesy of Renee Knight)

FRANKLIN, Ind. – The Franklin College women's basketball team continued Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference (HCAC) play on Wednesday night, taking on the Anderson University Ravens in the Spurlock Center with both teams in search of their first win of the year.

The Grizzlies (1-3, 1-1 HCAC) relied on their defense to get the job done on Wednesday night. Franklin forced 34 Anderson (0-8, 0-3 HCAC) turnovers on the night that turned into 34 points off turnovers in a 54-38 Franklin win.

"We're a young team and we're still getting comfortable with who we put out on the floor and what lineups we can roll out there," Head coach Dana Haggenjos added after the game. "Our calling card has always been our defense and tonight we leaned on our defense to dictate the pace of the game. When we're solid defensively, we can beat anyone."

Anderson took an early lead, but the Grizzlies answered with a 9-0 run to, capped by a Riley Achenbach layup to make it 9-3 Grizzlies mid-way through the first quarter. The Grizzlies forced nine Anderson giveaways in the opening quarter, taking a 17-7 lead after 10 minutes of play. Franklin recorded 13 of their points in the opening frame off turnovers.

The Franklin lead would balloon to 15 early in the second quarter, but a quick 7-0 Anderson run brought the Ravens within 22-14 with 6:47 to play in the first half. It was as close as the Ravens would get, as Franklin closed out the first half with a 9-2 run to take a 31-16 lead into the break.

An 8-2 run to open the second half put the Grizzlies in front by 20 for the first time this year. The Franklin defense continued to wreak havoc on the Anderson offense, scoring 10 of their 14 third quarter points off turnovers to take a 45-27 lead into the final frame. That proved to be more enough cushion as the Grizzlies kept the lead in double figures over the final 10 minutes. 

The Grizzlies spread the wealth on the offensive end Wednesday night, with 11 different players recording at least two points. Kelsey Smith, Isablela Ratliff and Bayleigh Walker finished with eight points each to lead the Grizzlies. Franklin shot 42.3 percent (22-for-52) from the floor on the night while holding the Ravens to 32.4 percent (11-for-34) shooting. 

Rebounds were 31-30 in favor of the Grizzlies, with Walker and Lindsay Freije pulling down five boards each to lead the team. Franklin held a 28-14 scoring advantage in the paint while getting a season-high 20 points from their bench. 

Franklin looks for consecutive wins on Saturday (Dec. 9) afternoon, when they hit the road for the first time in conference play to take on the Defiance Yellow Jackets. Tip-off from Defiance, Ohio is set for 2:00 p.m.