COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Franklin College women's basketball team tipped off the 2017 Capital Holiday Tournament on Friday (Dec. 29) afternoon, taking on the Ladies of Kenyon College in the opening contest of the two-day event.
Down by as many as 17 points in the first half, Franklin (3-6) valiantly battled back in the second half to force the Ladies (10-2) to overtime. In extra time, the Grizzlies struggled to knock down shots, allowing the Ladies to escape the Capital Center with a 70-65 OT victory.
Franklin struggled from the floor in the early going, knocking down just two of their first seven shots. At the other end of the floor, the Ladies went 9-for-14 from the floor in the opening period to take a 22-14 edge into the second quarter.
Kenyon continued their stellar shooting in the second quarter, opening the period on an 11-2 run to take a 33-16 lead with 5:49 left in the first half. The Grizzlies' defense would limit the Ladies to just one field goal the rest of the quarter, but Franklin knocked down just two shots of their own to trail 35-20 at the break.
The halftime break proved to be just what the Grizzlies needed, as Franklin came out firing to start the second half. The Grizzlies opened the third quarter with an 11-2 run, capped by a Maddie O'Day jumper that made it 37-31 with 6:31 to play in the quarter. Franklin would trim the lead down to as little as four before heading into the fourth down 45-39.
Franklin would get within a possession when an Isabella Ratliff three-pointer made it 47-44 with 7:16 left in regulation, but Kenyon would extend their lead to 57-49 with just 2:17 left to play. But Franklin would close out regulation strong, tying things up at 59 with 21 seconds to play after a pair of Kelsey Smith free throws.
Both sides had a look at the winning bucket, but each shot just missed and the teams headed to overtime.
Bayleigh Walker opened OT with a layup to give Franklin their first lead since early in the first quarter, but the Grizzlies would go cold from the field the rest of the game. Kenyon took the lead for good with 1:20 to go in extra time, taking advantage of a Franklin team that went 2-for-8 from the floor in the extra session.
Walker turned in another strong performance for the Grizzlies, leading the team with 22 points and nine rebounds on the day. Smith chipped in with 12 points as nine different Grizzlies found their way onto the score sheet on Thursday afternoon.
Franklin shot 41.3 percent (26-for-63) from the floor, going 9-for-23 from three-point land and 4-for-6 from the free throw line. Kenyon knocked down 48.2 percent (27-for-56) of their field goals on the day, connecting on 6-of-12 threes and 10-of-15 free throws.
Kenyon held a 40-30 advantage in rebounds on the afternoon and an 11-4 edge in second chance points. Franklin capitalized for 20 points off 18 Kenyon turnovers on the day.
The Grizzlies will be back in action on Saturday (Dec. 30) for day two of the Capital Holiday Tournament, taking on Denison College inside the Capital Center. Tip-off is set for 3:00 p.m.