LEXINGTON, Ky. – Playing their final road contest of the regular season on Wednesday (Feb. 13) night, the Franklin College women's basketball team headed south in search of an upset against No. 20-ranked Transylvania University.
The Grizzlies (7-17, 5-12 HCAC) fought hard against the high-powered Pioneers (22-2, 16-1 HCAC), keeping the game tight in the first half before the hosts caught fire from three-point range. Transylvania shot 47.4 percent from long range, knocking down 18 triples on the night on their way to a 90-52 win.
After falling behind 9-2 in the early going, the Grizzlies were able to close the gap before a second 9-2 run midway through the period stretched the Pioneer lead to 20-8. The Grizzlies surrendered five triples in the opening 10 minutes and trailed 27-16 after one.
Franklin would dig in on defense to get back in the game in the second quarter, limiting the Pioneers to just two field goals over the first 5:30 of the quarter, trimming the lead to 31-28. But the Pioneers would turn back to the long ball to close out the half, out-scoring the Grizzlies 18-6 over the final four minutes to take a 49-34 lead into the half.
The Pioneers put the game out of reach with an 11-2 run to open the second half, stretching the lead out to 20 for the first time. The rest of the half saw the Grizzlies fall victim to a Pioneer offense that buried nine threes over the final 20 minutes of play.
Bayleigh Walker led the way for Franklin on the stat sheet, finishing the night with 14 points on 7-for-11 shooting. Lindsay Freije, Jessica Nix and Britney Ballard all finished with six points each coming off the bench. Franklin shot 37.5 percent (24-for-64) from the floor, winning the rebounding battle by the slimmest of margins at 38-37.
The Grizzlies close out the regular season this coming Saturday (Feb. 16), when they welcome Bluffton to town for Senior Day inside the Spurlock Center. Tip-off is set for 2:00 p.m. with senior day ceremonies taking place before the game.