WOOSTER, Ohio – The Franklin College women's basketball team tipped off a five-game road swing on Saturday (Nov. 17) afternoon, taking part in the opening contest of Wooster College's 2018 Nan Nichols Classic against Carnegie Mellon University.
The Grizzlies (1-1) stayed right with the Tartans (3-0) through the first half, but a disastrous five-minute stretch in the third quarter ended up being Franklin's undoing. Carnegie Mellon out-scored the Grizzlies 24-11 in the third period, giving them the cushion they needed for a 74-60 win.
Freshman Britney Ballard led the Grizzlies with 13 points, five rebounds and four assists on the afternoon. A total of 11 different Grizzlies finished with at least two points, but Franklin couldn't overcome a Tartan offense that shot 49.2 percent (30-for-61) from the field and 50 percent (7-for-14) from long range.
The two sides exchanged seven leads in the opening quarter, with Franklin holding their final lead of the opening frame on a Jessica Nix layup that made it a 9-8 game with less than five minutes to go in the first. Both defenses would step up and limit the scoring, with Carnegie Mellon taking a 14-13 lead after one.
Lillie Stein evened things up with 8:32 left in the second quarter with a long three-pointer, but the Tartans limited the Grizzlies over the next five minutes to surge ahead 27-20 with 3:37 to play in the half. With the opening half winding down, Franklin roared back with a 10-2 run over the next 1:37, re-taking the lead courtesy of a Bayleigh Walker triple that made it 30-29. The Tartans answered on their next possession, which ended up being the final bucket of the half to give them a 31-30 lead after 20 minutes of action.
The game remained tight until the final five minutes of the third quarter, when the Tartans turned a three-point lead into a 14-point advantage with a 12-1 run that made it 55-41 after 30 minutes of play. The Grizzlies played the Tartans even in the final quarter, but the 14-point hole proved too much to overcome.
Franklin connected on 36.2 percent (21-for-58) of their field goals, shooting 7-for-20 from three and 11-for-14 at the free throw line. Isabella Ratliff finished second on the team with seven points off the bench, followed by six points from Cast, Walker, Stein and Nix.
Carnegie Mellon held a 36-33 edge in the rebounding battle and a 21-17 edge in the turnover department. Franklin finished the day with a 29-23 edge in bench scoring.
The Grizzlies look to get back in the win column on Sunday (Nov. 18) afternoon, when they take on host Wooster College in the final game of the Nan Nichols Classic. Tip-off from Timken Gymnasium is set for approximately 3:00 p.m.