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RECAP | Grizzlies Ground Seahawks in Land of Magic Classic Opener

Photo: Chad Williams
Photo: Chad Williams

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – The Franklin women's basketball team resumed non-conference play on Saturday (Dec. 28) afternoon, taking on the Salve Regina Seahawks in the first of two games at the Land of Magic Classic.

The Grizzlies (5-3) put together a dominant performance against the Seahawks (0-10) in a 95-69 win. Six players finished in double figures on offense with Bayleigh Walker leading all players with 17 points. Freshman Jenna Cowart finished just shy of recording a triple double, ending the day with 12 points, 10 rebounds and a career-best nine steals.

The Seahawks gained control in the early going, taking a 10-4 lead in the game's first four minutes. That lead would grow to as many as seven in the opening period before a late push got the Grizzlies within four at 25-21 when the first quarter ended. Franklin kept the game close thanks to their prowess at the line, going a perfect 9-for-9 from the charity stripe in the first 10 minutes of play.

An 8-2 run to start the second quarter gave Franklin their first lead of the day but a Seahawk three answered to give Salve Regina a 30-29 lead with 7:14 to go in the first half. The rest of the period was all Grizzlies, as Franklin found their shooting touch on offense while stifling the Seahawk offense for the remainder of the half. Franklin went 11-for-22 from the floor and 10-for-10 at the line in the second quarter alone and took a 53-40 lead into the break.

The Grizzlies put the game out of reach in the third, shooting 45% from the floor and forcing 11 turnovers in the period to take a 77-53 advantage into the final quarter. The lead would grow to as may as 32 in the final quarter as the Grizzlies cruised to victory.

Franklin shot 44.6% (33-for-74) from the floor and set a program record for most free throws in a game without a miss by going a perfect 28-for-28 from the line. Junior Lindsay Freije and freshman Taylee Nibbs set career-highs with 13 points each. Bayleigh Torrance's 12 points also set a personal high while Destinee Cross chipped in with 10 points.

Defensively, the Grizzlies limited Salve Regina to 41.3% (26-for-63) from the floor and forced 28 Seahawk turnovers. Cowart and Nibbs tied for the team lead with four assists each. Franklin also held decisive edges in points in the paint (52-34), points off turnovers (26-15), second chance points (21-11) and bench points (50-16).

The Grizzlies wrap up non-conference play on Sunday (Dec. 29) when they meet Framingham State in their final game of the Land of Magic Classic. The opening tip is set for noon.