WILMINGTON, Ohio – The Franklin women's basketball team took on Albion College on Saturday (Nov. 23) afternoon with the championship of the 2019 Fred Raizk Memorial Tournament up for grabs.
The Grizzlies (1-1) got a game-high 18 points from Bayleigh Walker but were unable to overcome a double-digit second half deficit as the Britons (6-0) claimed the tourney title with a 74-68 win.
The Britons jumped out in front early with a 9-0 first quarter run, but the Grizzlies were able to keep the contest close during the first 10 minutes. Bayleigh Torrance knocked down a three in the final minute of the period, bringing Franklin within 19-15 when the quarter came to a close.
A jumper from Walker early in the second cut the Albion lead down to three, but the Britons answered with an 8-2 run that made it 32-24 with five minutes to go in the half. The Grizzlies slashed the lead to as little as five before the half ended but headed into the locker room facing a 38-31 deficit.
Franklin cut the deficit to one possession right out of the break, getting a three-point play from Destinee Cross and a Jenna Cowart jumper to trim the deficit to two. But an 18-5 Albion run followed shortly after and with 2:30 to go in the quarter, Albion held their largest lead of the night at 56-41.
The Britons held a double-digit lead until midway through the fourth quarter, when the Franklin offense came to life. Six straight Grizzly points cut the Albion lead down to 64-60 and with 1:17 to go in the game, a Cross jumper made it a one-possession game at 71-68. But Franklin's bid for a second straight comeback win fell just short, as the Britons kept Franklin off the board over the final minute of play.
Walker was named to the all-tournament team after a pair of double-digit point efforts. Cowart joined her on the all-tournament team after a 12-point, eight-rebound effort on Saturday. Cross added 11 points and Jessica Nix led all players with 10 rebounds.
The Grizzlies shot 39.3% (24-for-61) from the floor and 79.2% (19-for-24) from the free throw line. Rebounds were 39-36 in Franklin's favor with the Grizzlies besting the Britons on points in the paint (40-24), second chance points (16-10), fast break points (16-6) and bench points (20-17).
The Grizzlies get back at it on Wednesday (Nov. 27) night, hosting Olivet College in the team's home opener and the start of five straight games inside the Spurlock Center. Tip-off is set for 5:00 p.m.