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RECAP | Offense Carries Grizzlies to Monday Night Win, Season Sweep of Manchester

Photo courtesy of Angie Palmer
Photo courtesy of Angie Palmer

NORTH MANCHESTER, Ind. – Powered by a strong offensive performance that saw four players finish in double figures, the Franklin College women's basketball team completed a season sweep of Manchester University with an 89-71 win over the Spartans on Monday (Feb. 11) night.

One game after matching her season-high in points, freshman Britney Ballard surpassed that total with 23 points to lead all scorers on the night. The Grizzlies (7-16, 5-11 HCAC) shot 51.7 percent (30-for-58) from the field and dominated the game on the glass, pulling away from the Spartans (4-19, 2-11 HCAC) with a big run to close out the first half.

"We did a great job tonight getting out aggressively on offense and pushing the ball," Head coach Dana Haggenjos said after the game. "Britney (Ballard) and Mallory (Cast) got loose for some nice transition scores, and we did a good job of attacking the rim. Jessica (Nix) and Lindsay (Freije) both had solid games on both ends of the floor. It was a solid team effort, and we are happy to bring a win back home."

After three ties and seven lead changes in the game's first eight minutes, Franklin put a little distance between the two sides late in the first quarter. The Grizzlies closed out the period with an 8-2 run over the final 2:08, taking a 23-17 lead into the second quarter.

Back-to-back buckets from Ballard and Destinee Cross to open the second quarter stretched the lead to double figures for the first time, but Manchester would counter with a 7-2 run to cut the deficit to 29-24 with six minutes left in the half. That was as close as the game would be the rest of the night, as Franklin closed out the remainder of the half with a 21-2 run, turning a close game into a blowout. When the horn sounded, Franklin held a 50-26 lead, out-scoring the hosts 27-9 in the second quarter alone.

The Grizzlies continued to stretch the lead in the second half, leading by as many as 31 points midway through the third quarter. Franklin held Manchester to 40 percent from the floor in the second half, closing out the win and finishing with the second most points scored in a game in 2018-19 when the final horn sounded.

Along with knocking down more than half of their field goals, Franklin went 4-for-9 from three and 25-for-34 from the free throw line. Ballard was joined in double figures by Bayleigh Walker (14 pts), Mallory Cast (12 pts) and Lindsay Freije (11 pts).

Defensively, the Grizzlies limited Manchester to 36.9 percent (25-for-68) from the floor and held a 46-31 advantage on the glass. Jessica Nix grabbed a game-high 10 rebounds and the Franklin bench finished with a season-high 50 points.

The Grizzlies close out their road schedule on Wednesday (Feb. 13) night, traveling to Lexington, Ky. to take on league-leading Transylvania University. Tip-off is set for 7:00 p.m.