FRANKLIN, Ind. – The Franklin College women's basketball team was in search of their third straight win on Wednesday (Jan. 31) night, taking on Manchester University inside the Spurlock Center.
Buckets were tough to come by for both teams all night long. Franklin got a game-high 13 points from freshman Isabella Ratliff, but the Grizzlies (6-13, 5-8 HCAC) were unable to overcome a 28.3 percent (15-for-53) field goal percentage and some clutch Spartan (6-14, 5-8 HCAC) shooting late in a 44-40 loss.
Franklin jumped out to an early lead with eight of the game's first 10 points. The Grizzlies held Manchester to just one field goal in the opening five minutes and 3-for-16 from the floor in the opening quarter to take a 15-10 lead into the second period.
The Grizzlies would keep up the intensity on the defensive end to open the second quarter, but Franklin went without a point for the first five minutes of the quarter. Manchester would battle back to even things up midway through the quarter before taking a 23-19 lead into the break. Manchester did the bulk of their damage from the line in the first half, going 13-for-16 from the stripe over the opening 20 minutes.
Manchester would tack on to their lead in the third quarter, out-scoring the Grizzlies 6-2 over the opening five minutes of the quarter to take a 29-21 lead. But the Franklin defense would clamp down the rest of the period, holding Manchester to just two points the rest of the frame while chopping the lead down to 31-27 as the game entered the fourth quarter.
Franklin kept up the intensity on the defensive end in the fourth quarter, taking their first lead of the second half with 6:26 to play. A 6-0 Franklin run later in the quarter spotted the Grizzlies a 40-35 lead with three minutes to play.
But the offense would dry up down the stretch, allowing the Spartans back into the game. Manchester would score the final nine points of the game, six of those coming on their only two three-pointers of the night.
The Grizzlies' defense held up all night long, limiting the Spartans to just 24.5 percent (12-for-49) from the floor and 2-for-17 from long range. But the Spartans made up for it at the line, going 18-for-26 from the charity stripe compared to Franklin's 9-for-16 shooting from the line.
Freshman Lindsay Freije pulled down a game-high 10 boards, her first career double-digit rebounding effort. Franklin finished the night with a 43-38 edge on the glass.
The Grizzlies head back out on the road on Saturday (Feb. 3) afternoon, heading to Richmond, Ind. to take on Earlham College. Tip-off is set for 4:00 p.m.