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Women's Basketball Drops Road Game at Franklin

FRANKLIN, Ind. -- Franklin College used a dominating second half to break open a close game and defeat the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology women's basketball team, 51-31, in Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference play Wednesday.

Rose-Hulman (6-8, 4-3 HCAC) used a 7-1 run to close the first half to trim the Grizzlies' lead to 27-24 at the break, but Franklin (7-6, 5-1 HCAC) outscored the Engineers 24-7 in the game's final 20 minutes.

Freshman Jamie Loving (Normal, Ill./Normal West) and junior Sheree Williams (Bluffton, S.C./Bluffton) led RHIT with six points each.

The Engineers hung with the Grizzlies in the first half, as RHIT trailed by as many as nine (26-17) before holding Franklin to a point in the final 4:30 in the first frame.

Freshman Kristen Belyea (Mahomet, Ill./Mahomet Seymour) drilled a 3-pointer and Williams followed with two straight layups to trim the lead to three, 27-24.

The two teams traded baskets in the first eight minutes of the second half, as RHIT's Josie Schmidt (Eighty Four, Pa./Ringgold) drained a jumper and Gracie Gibbs (Parker, Colo./Ponderosa) added a layup and a free throw to keep Franklin's lead to five (34-29) with 12:48 to play.

The Grizzlies would finish the game on a 17-2 run to seal the home victory.

Schmidt finished the game with a team-high eight rebounds and freshman Abbie Marshall (St. Louis, Mo./Nerinx Hall) and Williams added two steals each.

The Grizzlies outscored RHIT at the free-throw line, as Franklin made 19-of-27 shots, compared to the Engineers' 3 for 12 outing at the stripe.

Franklin's Nichole Thompson led the home squad with 15 points and teammate Lindsay Dall added 14 points for the Grizzlies.

Rose-Hulman returns home after going 2-1 in three straight games on the road, as the Engineers host Mount St. Joseph Saturday at Hulbert Arena.

Tipoff is slated for 1 p.m., with the men's contest to follow.