FRANKLIN, Ind. – The Franklin women's basketball team opened up the second half of Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference (HCAC) play on Saturday (Jan. 19) afternoon, taking on the Hanover Panthers in the second meeting of the year between the two long-time rivals.
Franklin (5-12, 3-7 HCAC) succumbed to a red-hot shooting Hanover (12-5, 8-2 HCAC) squad, dropping a 91-66 decision to the Panthers. Freshman Britney Ballard finished with a team-high and season-best 18 points off the bench to lead the way for the Grizzlies while Jessica Nix added 11 points in support, but the Grizzlies couldn't overcome a Hanover team that shot just a tick under 50 percent from the floor and buried 10 threes on the day.
The two sides traded buckets and the lead early on before the Panthers used their sharp shooting a full-court pressure defense to rattle off an 11-0 run and make it 15-5 halfway through the opening quarter. Franklin would claw back to within single digits late in the first quarter and trailed 27-18 after one.
Hanover stretched their lead with an 11-2 run to open the second quarter, building their lead back into double-figures for good. Each time the Grizzlies put together a run, the Panthers had an answer and Franklin headed into the break trailing 52-34. The Panthers continued their success into the second half, shooting 45 percent from the floor over the final 20 minutes.
Franklin shot 45 percent (27-for-60) from the field, going 2-for-9 from three and 10-for-15 from the free throw line. Nix led the Grizzlies with eight rebounds, followed by five from both Ballard and senior Mallory Cast. The Grizzly bench contributed 40 of the team's points on the afternoon.
The Grizzlies wrap up a three-game homestand on Wednesday (Jan. 23) night, when they look to complete a season sweep of the Anderson Ravens. Franklin took the first matchup of the year back on Dec. 5, winning 71-63 in Anderson. Tip-off from the Spurlock Center is set for 7:30 p.m.