CINCINNATI, Ohio – The Franklin College women's basketball team wrapped up a four-game road swing on Saturday (Jan. 6) afternoon, taking on the Mount St. Joseph Lions in a Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference (HCAC) showdown.
Junior Mallory Cast had 17 points on the afternoon to lead the Grizzlies (3-9, 2-4 HCAC) in scoring. But Franklin was unable to get back in the win column, falling to the Lions (8-5, 4-2 HCAC), 58-51.
Franklin held a 6-4 lead midway through the first half, jumping in front for the first time on the day thanks to an Isabella Ratliff jumper. But the Lions would snatch the lead right back, closing out the opening period with a 10-2 run to take a 14-8 lead into the second quarter.
Cast opened the second quarter with a three to cut the Lions' lead in half, but MSJ responded with an 11-0 run to open up a double-digit lead for the first time. The lead remained in double figures for the rest of the half as Mount St. Joseph took a 35-23 lead into the break.
The Grizzlies slowly started to chip away at the Lions' lead in the third quarter, cutting the deficit to five with a 7-2 run that made it 39-34 with 2:34 left in the period. The teams exchanged free throws to close out the quarter, and MSJ took a 42-35 lead into the final period.
Franklin opened the fourth quarter with a Bayleigh Walker layup and a three from Cast to get within a possession at 42-40. The Grizzlies would stay within a possession until a 6-0 MSJ run made it 52-44 with two minutes to go. The late run proved to be too much for the Grizzlies to overcome, as the Lions closed out the win.
The Grizzlies shot 32.2 percent (19-for-59) from the field on Saturday afternoon, going 6-for-23 from three-point range and 7-for-15 at the free throw line. Franklin's defense held the Lions to just 33.3 percent (15-for-45) shooting and 6-of-15 from long range, but the Lions made up for it at the line, where they knocked down 22-of-31 attempts.
Erin Bradley has a team-high seven rebounds for Franklin. Rebounds were 40-36 in favor of the Lions. Franklin won the turnover battle, forcing 22 MSJ giveaways while committing 17 of their own.
The Grizzlies look to get back on the winning track on Wednesday (Jan. 10) night, when they welcome Rose-Hulman to the Spurlock Center for the first of two meetings between the two teams. Tip-off is set for 7:30 p.m.