GREENCASTLE, Ind. – Powered by a dominant third quarter at both ends of the floor, the Franklin College women's basketball team snapped a four-game skid with a 65-51 win over Finlandia in the third-place game of the DePauw University Amy Hasbrook Memorial Tournament on Saturday (Dec. 29) afternoon.
Sophomore Bayleigh Walker finished with a game-high 23 points to lead Grizzlies (3-8) in scoring for the second game in a row and earn a spot on the All-Tournament Team. Franklin held the Lions (0-14) to just 29 percent (18-for-62) shooting on the afternoon, pulling away thanks to a third quarter that saw Franklin out-score the Lions at a 21-3 clip.
"The last four or five games, the third quarter hasn't been kind to us," Head coach Dana Haggenjos said following the win. "We made some changes to our lineup coming out of the half and those players gave us the intensity we were looking for and everyone brought it defensively. This was a great team win and it's exactly the kind of performance you want heading back into conference play."
Franklin wasted no time jumping out to an early lead, scoring on each of their first two trips down the floor. Leading by a pair late in the first quarter, the Grizzlies closed the opening period strong with a 9-0 run. Jessica Nix capped the opening period with a three-point play to send Franklin into the second quarter holding a 21-10 lead.
But the tide flipped when the second quarter began, as Finlandia opened the period with a 16-2 run to take their first lead of the day with five minutes to go in the first half. The Grizzlies shook off the Lions' response, re-taking the lead after consecutive layups from Walker and Rhegan Day. The Lions netted a pair of threes before the end of the period, but a late jumper from Addie Rund sent Franklin into the locker room with a 34-32 lead.
The Lions got within a point with a jumper 1:38 into the second half, but it would turn out to be their only field goal of the period. Franklin rattled off a 20-1 run over the final 8:22 of the period to blow the game open and take a 55-35 lead into the final quarter. The Grizzlies held Finlandia to 1-for-15 from the floor during the third while scoring 16 of their 21 points in the paint. The lead stayed in double figures all the way to the final horn, growing to as many as 25 early in the fourth quarter.
Walker was joined in double figures by freshman Britney Ballard, who came off the bench to finish with 10 points while matching a season-high with six rebounds. Franklin connected on 37.5 percent (27-for-72) of their field goals with nine different Grizzlies netting a basket. The Grizzlies held a 42-20 edge on points in the paint.
Franklin grabbed a season-high 50 rebounds, including 21 on the offensive glass which is also a new season-high. Freshman Destinee Cross led all players with nine rebounds followed by seven from Walker and six from Ballard, Nix and Mallory Cast.
The Grizzlies resume Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference (HCAC) play on Wednesday, Jan. 2, when they host the Manchester Spartans. Tip-off from the Spurlock Center is set for 7:30 p.m.