TERRE HAUTE, Ind. – The Franklin College women's basketball team hit the road on Wednesday (Jan. 9) night, heading west for a showdown with Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference (HCAC) co-leaders Rose-Hulman.
The Grizzlies (5-9, 3-4 HCAC) saw their winning streak come to an end at three, dropping a 68-46 decision to the Engineers (9-5, 6-1 HCAC). The stingy Rose-Hulman defense caused fits for the Grizzlies all night long, as Franklin connected on just 36.4 percent (16-for-44) of their field goals on the night.
The two sides traded buckets in the early minutes and the game sat tied at six following a Jessica Nix layup with 6:39 to go in the period. But the next six minutes saw the Grizzlies go scoreless with the Engineer defense providing the spark for a 10-0 run. Rhegan Day snapped the run with a three late in the period, as Rose took an 18-9 advantage into the second quarter.
Franklin's defense put the clamps down on the Engineers in the second quarter, holding Rose to just two field goals over the opening eight minutes of the quarter. But the offense struggled to find a rhythm at the other end and knock some points off the deficit. The Grizzlies finished with just two field goals in the period and were staring at a 26-16 halftime deficit.
The Engineers rattled off an 11-2 run early in the third quarter to extend their lead and put the Grizzlies in a bigger hole. Franklin played the Engineers even the rest of the quarter but headed into the fourth trailing 49-31.
Six points in the opening 45 seconds of the fourth quarter brought Franklin within 12 points and forced an Engineer timeout. The timeout halted any further comeback attempt, as the Engineers rattled off an 13-1 run following the stoppage to put the contest out of reach.
Mallory Cast led the Grizzlies with 12 points on the night, going 5-for-13 from the field while knocking down a pair of threes. Bayleigh Walker knocked down all five shots she took for 10 points, but the Grizzlies' leading scorer was limited to just 15 minutes of play due to foul trouble. Day came off the bench and finished with a season-high seven points.
Franklin forced 20 Engineer turnovers with Nix' five steals leading all players. Day led the Grizzlies with four rebounds, as Rose finished the night with a 33-18 edge on the glass.
The Grizzlies wrap up a two-game road swing on Saturday (Jan. 12) afternoon, traveling to Richmond, Ind. to take on the Earlham Quakers. Tip-off is set for 1:00 p.m.