For the Daily Journal

Franklin might have been hard pressed to beat conference leader Rose-Hulman at full strength. But playing without four regulars, the Grizzlies had no chance.

Rose-Hulman took advantage of its wounded opponent to roll to an easy 74-41 win in women’s basketball Wednesday at the Spurlock Center and remain unbeaten in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference.

Franklin (3-10, 2-5 HCAC) played the game without injured regulars Kelsey Smith, Krista Sutherland, Maddie O’Day and Melissa Beer, a quartet that combine for nearly 15 points per game, or a quarter of what the Grizzlies average on a given night. Franklin coach Dana Haggenjos didn’t use the absences as an excuse, but she admitted that it didn’t help.

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“We had some struggles there for much of the game. Some of the people we depend upon were out of the game, but I thought we got good contributions from Ashlin (Aycock) and Amanda (McKinney) off the bench,” Haggenjos said.

“But the people that were here needed to step up, and unfortunately they weren’t able to get going today. Hopefully we can regroup tomorrow and be ready to go on Saturday.”

The Engineers (11-3, 7-0) wasted little time in jumping on the Grizzlies. The Engineers broke free of a close game with a 13-0 run and led 23-11 after the first quarter.

The Engineers extended their lead from there, going ahead 38-19 at the half and 54-29 after three quarters. They led by as many as 35 before cruising to the win.

Not surprisingly, Rose-Hulman dominated the stats. The Engineers shot 50 percent (32 for 64) from the floor to just 28 percent (13 for 46) for Franklin. The visitors also won the rebounding battle 41-26, grabbed 17 offensive rebounds and turned the ball over 16 times while forcing 21 by the Grizzlies.

“They’re just disciplined. Nothing against them or their program, they don’t have outstanding players, they just play so well together,” Haggenjos said of the Engineers. “They’re a very disciplined team, they’re very fundamental and they do a lot of things other teams don’t do.”

Bayleigh Walker scored 14 points to lead Franklin, while Aycock scored nine points off the bench. Franklin’s starters combined to score just 20 points.

Ally Bromenschenkel had 17 points and seven rebounds to lead Rose-Hulman, and Alyzia Dilworth also had 17 points.

Franklin will try to break its five-game losing streak Saturday when it hosts Earlham as part of men’s-women’s doubleheader.