Franklin College women cruise to win

Parlaying a hot start into a solid finish, the Franklin College women’s basketball breezed to a 74-43 win Saturday against visiting Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference rival Earlham.

Franklin raced to an 14-2 lead was never seriously challenged the rest of the way.

The Grizzlies have won four of their past five games and remain in contention for the league championship.

The Grizzlies (13-6, 9-3) are tied for third with Transylvania, two games back of conference leader Bluffton (18-1, 11-1) and second-place Rose-Hulman (16-3, 10-2).

Bluffton lost its first game of the season to Rose-Hulman on Saturday.

The Grizzlies travel to Rose-Hulman on Wednesday. They defeated the Engineers 48-47 in overtime in their first meeting this season in early December.

Against Earlham (4-15, 2-10), Franklin built a 20-point halftime lead at 41-21 and never looked back.

A 12-0 run at the start of the second half gave Franklin a 53-21 lead, and the Quakers had no answer the rest of the way.

Leading the way with a career-high 16 points, four rebounds, three assists and three steals was sophomore guard Kelsey Smith.

Also in double figures, each with 13 points, were senior center Katie Brewer and sophomore guard Riley Achenbach.

Junior guard Kayle Comer continued to shoot the ball well, especially from outside the arc, finishing with 12 points, include a pair of 3-point goals.

For Earlham, junior guard Hannah Franklin was the only player in double-digits with 12 points.

For the game, the Grizzlies connected on 28 of 58 from the floor for 48.5 percent compared to Earlham’s dismal 13 of 47 for 27.7 percent.