Franklin College’s basketball teams traveled Saturday to Defiance College for a doubleheader, with both Franklin teams recording their first conference win. The women’s team took down the Yellow Jackets 58-51, followed by the men’s 111-77 win. 

Coming into Saturday

On the women’s side, both teams came into the matchup with an overall record of 1-3 and each squad’s previous game was a conference loss. Defiance suffered a 7-point defeat at the hands of Manchester (5-2, 2-0), while Franklin had their score doubled against Transylvania (6-0, 2-0)—the No. 3 team in the nation.

The Defiance men’s last game was also a loss to Manchester (3-4, 3-0) but they came in with a better record (2-3). The Franklin men sat at .500 through six games, with this being their first test in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference.

Cooney leads women’s team with 13 points in win over Defiance 

By late in the first quarter, the Yellow Jackets took a 16-6 lead but the Grizzlies were able to claw themselves back into contention before the end of the half, down only 28-26.

Franklin turned the ball over 14 times in the first half—the team had previously been averaging 15.5 turnovers per game—giving Defiance a 5-point advantage in points off turnovers. On the flip side, the Grizzlies stayed in the game the first 20 minutes largely because they made five of six three-pointers while the Yellow Jackets went 2-for-9.

Defiance kept its lead through the whole third quarter but with 8:29 left in the game, Franklin had evened things, 47-47.

The fourth quarter was all about the Grizzlies. They scored 15 points and led by at least 5 points the last 5:30. Defensively, Franklin held Defiance to only 4 points—all of which were free throws. And sophomore Jasmine Walker scored 6 of her 7 points in the last quadrant.

For the first time this season, sophomore Taylor Cooney was the Grizzlies’ top scorer, going 5-for-9, while freshman Lauryn Bates was only one point behind with 12. Both also had 12 rebounds. 

Franklin men break triple digits in win against Defiance

The last time the Grizzlies scored 100 points was on Dec. 17, 2019 when they beat Boyce College 116-61. In that game, Franklin scored 50 points in the paint and then-freshman Carter Crowe had 8 points.

Saturday, the Grizzlies, led by senior Crowe’s career-high 30 points and eight three-pointers, were less worried than three years ago about getting to the basket. Instead, the team went 23-for-44 from behind the arc—which accounted for over half of both their shot attempts and shots made.

Besides the first thirty seconds when it was tied 0-0, Franklin led the whole way. In the first half, the Grizzlies were able to take advantage of the Yellow Jackets’ turnovers—scoring 15 points off them—and were better when it came to fast break points, outscoring Defiance 12-3.

Assisting in the 62-33 lead Franklin took into halftime was the team’s 13 three-pointers and 10-plus point performances from Crowe, sophomore Trey Flatt and sophomore Ryan Bostic.

Defiance spent only 18 seconds of the second half within less than 20 points—which equates to 1.5% of the playing time. Sophomore Clayton McCorkle led the Yellow Jackets after halftime with 9 points, but it was senior Te Jones’ 19 points and senior Marell Jordan’s 18 points that paced Defiance overall.

For the Grizzlies, Bostic and Flatt followed Crowe with 17 and 16 points each, respectively. Crowe also had 9 rebounds and 6 assists.

Up next for the Grizzlies

The women will travel to Michigan Wednesday night to face off against Olivet (2-5, 1-1)—the last time they met being a 91-76 win for Franklin last year. Then, both teams will host Manchester Saturday afternoon. The men’s squad is 3-4 overall, with all three wins against conference teams, and the women are 5-2 and also undefeated against the HCAC. 

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