FRANKLIN, Ind. – Backed by dominant showing on the defensive end and efficient showing on the offensive side of the ball, the Franklin College women's basketball team cruised to a 68-48 win over Mount St. Joseph on Saturday (Jan. 5) afternoon inside the Spurlock Center.
The Grizzlies (5-8, 3-3 HCAC) suffocated the Lions' (8-5, 3-3 HCAC) offense all afternoon, holding the Mount to just 25.8 percent (17-for-66) from the field. At the other end of the floor, the Grizzlies converted on 51.9 percent (27-for-52) of their field goal attempts to run their winning streak to three straight.
"Our offense got us going early and we were able to do some things defensively to really slow them down," Head coach Dana Haggenjos said following the win. "Mount is a great team and they've got weapons. They're in every single game and today we were able to limit their clean looks and keep a couple real dangerous players in check."
After surrendering a three on the game's opening possession, the Grizzlies put the clamps down on the Lions for the rest of the first quarter, holding the Mount to just two field goals the rest of the period. An 11-0 Franklin run put the hosts in front for good and spotted them a 14-7 lead after 10 minutes of play.
Following a long scoreless drought by both teams to open the second, Franklin extended their lead to double figures when a Bayleigh Walker jumper made it 20-10 at the six-minute mark. The Grizzlies closed out the first half with an 8-2 run, stretching their advantage to 33-19 after one half of play.
Franklin's third quarter was their most efficient of the afternoon on offense and was their stingiest at the other end of the floor. The Grizzlies went 8-for-11 from the field and held the Lions to 3-for-19 shooting out of the break, stretching the lead to 52-31 with 10 minutes to play.
The Mount switched to a full-court press to start the fourth and it paid dividends, as the Lions were able to slice the Franklin lead all the way down to nine at 56-47 with four minutes to play. But the final minutes belonged to the Grizzlies, as Franklin closed out the contest with a 12-1 run to an emphatic stamp on their second home conference win of the year.
Sophomore Bayleigh Walker powered the Franklin attack on Saturday afternoon, finishing two points shy of her career high with 27 points while grabbing 12 rebounds to record her second straight and fourth double-double of the year. Senior Mallory Cast knocked down a season-high four threes on her way to a 19-point afternoon, one point shy of her career best.
Freshman Addie Rund came off the bench to lead the Grizzlies with seven assists. In total, the Grizzlies assisted on 21 of their 27 field goals made. Rebounds were 42-35 in Franklin's favor with Destinee Cross (8 reb) and Cast (6 reb) finishing behind Walker on the team leaderboard.
Franklin looks to keep their winning streak going this coming Wednesday (Jan. 9), when they head back out on the road to take on HCAC co-leader Rose-Hulman. Tip-off is set for 7:30 p.m.