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Franklin women roll to conference victory

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With post players Lindsey Dall and Jess Prewett dominating down low and senior guard Lindsay Rich taking care of business outside, the Franklin College women’s basketball squad turned back visiting Mount St. Joseph 66-54 Wednesday.

The Lions jumped out to a 6-0 lead in the opening minutes of the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference matchup. But over the next five minutes, Franklin caught up, and each team traded baskets forging a tie for the fifth time at 15-all.

Mount St. Joseph made good on eight layups in the first half by freshman guard Heidi MacManus and forward Rachel Blevins.

Despite the effective inside play of Mount St. Joseph, the Grizzlies went on a 16-5 run triggered by junior forward Dall, who scored 10 points in the first half. Before the break, sophomore Katie Dale, a graduate of Roncalli High School, drained a 3-pointer to give Franklin its biggest lead at 31-21.

In an effort to overcome an eight-point halftime deficit, the Lions turned up the defensive pressure with a full-court press to start the second half. However, with proper spacing, the Grizzlies were able to get up court quickly.

Transition baskets off the break by Prewett and Dall pushed Franklin’s lead to 41-26. Before the run ended, the Grizzlies had reeled off 15 points against only two by the Lions.

Up by 18 with 12 minutes remaining, Franklin hit a dry stretch on offense, and Mount St. Joseph narrowed the Grizzlies lead to 12 points. Dale eventually pushed the lead to 17 points with another 3-pointer at 55-38.

Rich topped Franklin College with a team-high 16 points. Dall was next with 14, while Prewett added 10, and senior forward Krista Schott scored nine, including 7 of 8 from the free throw stripe.

Franklin College (11-3, 5-2 HCAC) will be at home against conference rival Manchester at 2 p.m. Saturday.

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