FRANKLIN, Ind. – Backed by another strong defensive effort, the Franklin women's basketball team secured their spot in the upcoming Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference (HCAC) Tournament with a 58-39 win over Rose-Hulman on Wednesday (Feb. 12) night.
The Grizzlies (13-8, 9-6 HCAC) flustered the Engineers (5-17, 4-11 HCAC) all night long, holding Rose to just 26% (13-for-50) from the field and 0-for-11 from behind the three-point line. It marks the second straight game Franklin has held an opponent to 40 points or less, which helped the Grizzlies lock up their first post-season appearance since 2016-17.
Early on, the Engineers held a 6-3 lead after knocking down each of their first three field goal attempts. The Grizzlies responded with a 9-4 run to take their first lead of the night, and they put a stamp on the first quarter with an 8-0 run to take a 20-12 lead into the second quarter.
The next 10 minutes proved to be the turning point, as Franklin held the Engineers to just three field goals while forcing six turnovers in the period that resulted in 10 Franklin points. When the teams broke for halftime, Franklin held a 36-19 lead with Rose netting a mere seven second quarter points.
The Grizzlies grew their lead to as many as 23 in the third quarter before five straight points from Rose to end the third made it a 46-31 game going into the final period. Franklin leaned on their defense in the final period to seal the win, holding the Engineers to a pair of fourth quarter field goals to seal the win.
Destinee Cross led all players with 12 points, going 5-for-8 from the floor and knocking down a pair of three-pointers. Ashlin Aycock was the only other Grizzly to hit double digits, adding 11 points off the bench.
Cassidy Yant pulled down a team-high eight rebounds as Franklin cleaned up on the glass to the tune of a 44-37 advantage. Taylor McDaniel led the team with four assists, with Franklin assisting on 20 of their 26 field goals on the night.
The Grizzlies wrap up their current three-game homestand on Saturday (Feb. 15) afternoon when the Anderson Ravens come to the Spurlock Center. A win secures the Grizzlies the No. 3 seed in the HCAC Tournament and a home game to open the event.
Tip-off is set for 1:00 p.m.