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Franklin College women still second in HCAC

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Speed it up. Slow it down. For the Franklin College women’s basketball team, it doesn’t really seem to matter what game strategy the Grizzlies have.

They do both equally well.

In their game against Manchester last Saturday, the Grizzlies put up only 44 points but still won by two.

At home against Rose-Hulman on Wednesday, another Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference opponent, the Grizzlies got the job done in like fashion with a 45-32 win.

Whether they score 40 or 75, it’s all about getting the win, said first-year Franklin College coach Jennifer Lodge.

“I think we can adjust to that very well. Our defense was very good tonight, and I think that’s what won the basketball game,” she said. “I keep telling them we can have a bad shooting day, but we can never have a bad defense day.”

The win, their 12th in the past 13 outings, improved the team’s conference record to 12-3 and to 18-4 overall. The Grizzlies continue to hold a firm grip on second place in the league standings behind Transylvania.

In a poor shooting first half for both teams, Franklin reasserted itself offensively by going up 18-11 on two free throws by senior guard Lindsey Rich.

The Grizzlies had all kinds of opportunities to blow the game wide open in the opening half, but the Engineers hung around despite committing 15 turnovers.

Coming out of the break with a 19-15 edge, Rich got things started with a steal and a fast-break layup to put the Grizzlies up by six.

Rich then hit back-to-back jump shouts to keep Franklin out in front 23-17.

The Engineers continued to struggle offensively from the outside and the inside, which had a great deal to do with Franklin’s tenacious man-to-man defense.

Rich, who had a game-high 17 points, added two more jumpers from the wing to go up at 31-24 with a little more than seven minutes remaining.

Franklin junior forward Krista Schott could not find the basket in both the first and second half, but the shot she did hit was the biggest of the night.

With the shot clock about to expire, Schott stepped back behind the 3-point line, and in it went to give the Grizzlies their largest lead at 36-26.

Rose-Hulman crept back within four points, but the Grizzlies got a conventional 3-point play by senior center Jess Prewett.

Over the final three minutes, Franklin got to the free-throw line to seal the win.

Franklin hosts HCAC rival Anderson at 1 p.m. Saturday.

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