FRANKLIN, Ind. – Led by a suffocating performance on the defensive end, the Franklin College women's basketball team snapped a five-game skid on Saturday (Jan. 13) afternoon with a 51-39 win over Earlham.
Freshman Bayleigh Walker recorded her second double-double of the year with 16 points and 12 boards. Erin Bradley matched her career-high with 13 points as Franklin (4-11, 3-5 HCAC) suffocated Earlham (1-14, 1-7 HCAC) for their first league win of 2018. Earlham's 39 points are the fewest allowed by the Grizzlies in a game this season.
"Our defense came to play today," Head coach Dana Haggenjos said after the game. "We were active all game, getting in passing lanes and making it tough for them to get a shot off. We tell our team that if you guard well, you give yourself a chance to win every night. It took a while for our offense to get going, so it was very important to play how we did on defense today."
Franklin connected on just 5-of-20 field goals in the opening quarter, but the Grizzlies limited Earlham to just seven shots in the opening 10 minutes and took a 12-9 lead into the second period. The two teams would go without a point until the five-minute mark of the second quarter on a Walker layup. Franklin took a 20-14 lead into the intermission, closing out the second quarter with a 6-0 run.
The Grizzlies maintained a one-possession lead until late in the third quarter. Franklin would essentially put the game out of reach with a 10-3 run over the final 2:25 of the period to take a 36-26 lead into the fourth quarter.
Franklin turned to their defense to hold the lead in the fourth quarter, as Earlham went 4-for-11 from the floor in the final period. At the other end of the floor, Walker and Mallory Cast combined for 13 of the Grizzlies' 15 fourth quarter points, putting the game on ice.
The Grizzlies shot 32.8 percent (21-for-64) on the afternoon while holding Earlham to 31.1 percent (14-for-45) from the field. Rebounds were 44-32 in favor of the Grizzlies with Franklin grabbing 17 offensive boards that turned into 13 second chance points.
Franklin finished with a 16-11 advantage in the turnover battle, outscoring the Quakers 19-2 in points off turnovers.
Next up for the Grizzlies is a trip to Lexington, Ky. on Wednesday (Jan. 17) night for a showdown with the Pioneers of Transylvania University. Tip-off is set for 7:30 p.m.