HANOVER, Ind. – The Franklin women's basketball team continued a month-long road trip on Saturday (Dec. 1) afternoon, taking on the Hanover Panthers in the first Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference (HCAC) game of the year for both teams.
Sophomore Bayleigh Walker dropped 25 points and grabbed 12 rebounds to lead all players in both categories and secure her first double-double of the season. But the Grizzlies (1-4, 0-1 HCAC) couldn't slow down a red-hot Hanover (4-2, 1-0 HCAC) offense, falling to the Panthers by a count of 94-72.
Hanover used their full-court pressure defense to fluster the Grizzlies early, jumping out to a 9-3 lead less than two minutes into the contest. Franklin would regroup in short order with a 9-4 run to get within a point at 13-12 following a Walker layup. But Franklin was plagued by cold shooting the rest of the quarter, falling behind 26-16 after one period of action.
The Grizzlies wasted no time getting back within striking distance, opening the second quarter on a 7-2 run to trim the Panther lead to 28-23. Hanover's lead sat at five midway through the second quarter before an 8-0 Panther run extended the lead to 42-29 with 4:18 to go in the half. When the teams broke for halftime, Hanover held a 50-36 advantage on the strength of shooting 58.1 percent from the floor in the opening half.
The Panthers continued their torrid shooting pace in the second half, shooting 62.9 percent (17-for-27) from the floor and holding the Grizzlies to 40 percent (14-for-35) from the field over the final 20 minutes of action.
Franklin got a career-high 11 points off the bench from sophomore Emiley Carlton, who was the only other Grizzly to reach double figures. The Grizzlies shot 39.4 percent (26-for-66) from the floor, going 5-for-19 from three and 15-for-21 at the free throw line.
Rebounds were 41-34 in Hanover's favor with the Grizzlies forcing 23 turnovers on the night. Franklin out-scored the Panthers in transition, netting 23 points to 13 for Hanover on the fast break.
The Grizzlies wrap up their lengthy road swing on Wednesday (Dec. 5) night, heading north to take on the Anderson Ravens in another HCAC showdown. Tip-off from Anderson is set for 7:30 p.m.