FRANKLIN, Ind. – For the first time in nearly a month, the Franklin College women's basketball team stepped onto their home floor as the Grizzlies welcomed Defiance College to the Spurlock Center for their first Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference (HCAC) home game of the year.
After jumping out to a double digit lead in the first quarter, the Grizzlies (2-5, 1-2 HCAC) struggled to knock down shots over the final 30 minutes. That allowed the Yellow Jackets (1-6, 1-1 HCAC) to wipe out the deficit and steal a 58-49 win on Saturday.
The Grizzlies smothered the Yellow Jackets in the opening period, holding Defiance to 3-for-13 from the floor and forcing eight turnovers in the first 10 minutes. The Grizzlies used a 10-2 run midway through the quarter to open an 18-8 lead heading into the second quarter. Franklin went 8-for-13 from the field in the opening quarter with Ashlin Aycock's six points leading all players.
But the Grizzlies struggled from the floor in the second quarter, going just 3-for-18 from the field. Defiance would have their best quarter shooting ball, knocking down 6-of-11 shots and a trip of three-pointers to take a 27-25 lead into the locker room.
Franklin took the lead back when Mallory Cast buried a three at the 7:32 mark and the Grizzlies used a 6-0 run later in the quarter to make it a 36-33 game with 2:48 to play in the quarter. But the Grizzlies managed just a pair of free throws the rest of the period and the game headed to the fourth quarter tied at 38.
Defiance started the final quarter with seven straight points, setting the tone for the rest of the quarter. The Yellow Jackets did the bulk of their damage at the line, recording 13 of their 20 fourth quarter points from the charity stripe. At the other end, Franklin would go just 5-for-21 from the field in the final period.
Bayleigh Walker led all players with 14 points and pulled down 11 rebounds to pick up her second double-double of the year. Cast added 10 points off the bench for a Franklin team that shot 29.9 percent (20-for-66) from the field.
Defensively, the Grizzlies held Defiance to 29.1 percent (16-for-55) from the field. But the Yellow Jackets knocked down eight three-pointers and 18-of-26 free throws, providing the difference in the win.
Franklin has a week off before heading back out on the road for their next contest. The Grizzlies close out the opening leg of HCAC play at Bluffton next Saturday (Dec. 15) with tip-off set for 2:00 p.m.