FC women still perfect in HCAC

The Franklin College women’s basketball team overcame a slow start to stay unbeaten in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference with a 56-34 win Saturday against visiting Earlham.

The Grizzlies (6-4, 4-0 Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference) were coming off two losses last week in a holiday tournament at Ohio Wesleyan. After shrugging off an uneven first half against Earlham, they regrouped in the second and were much more cohesivie

“The biggest thing right now is our confidence and keeping the turn-switch on,” Franklin first-year coach Dana Haggenjos said. “We haven’t figured out how to play a complete game right now, and that’s what we keep working on in practice to put a complete package together. We had a really tough schedule through December, and we were trying to use that as a platform to prepare us for conference.

“We’ve shown a lot of bright spots, the things to look forward to. So now it’s the matter of them getting confident in their own abilities and figuring out how good this team can be.”

The game was scoreless for the first three and half minutes before sophomore guard Mandy Fisher got free for a breakaway layup to give the Grizzlies a 2-0 lead.

Earlham (3-8, 0-4) kept things close through the first half and trailed 23-20 in the final two minutes of the half.

But two quick baskets by freshman guard Madi Kolthoff, including a 3-pointer, gave the Grizzlies a 28-20 halftime lead.

Franklin got its biggest lead in the second half at 37-26 on an 18-foot jump shot by sophomore Lauren DeSutter. But Earlham went on an 11-2 run to tie the score at 39-39 with 9:18 remaining.

DeSutter, who finished with a game-high 14 points, scored Franklin’s next three baskets to give it the lead for good, closing the game with a 17-4 run.

Junior forward Katie Brewer added eight points in the win, while Kolthoff and senior forward Lindsey Dall each tallied seven.

For the Quakers, Kasin Spay, Hannah Franklin and Hannah Dyer each scored nine points.

For the game, the Grizzlies hit 24 of 57 from the field for 42.1 percent while Earlham struggled, hitting only 16 of 55 from the floor for 29.1 percent.

Franklin outrebounded Earlham 42-39.

The Grizzlies host conference rival Manchester on Wednesday.