Defensive strength leads women’s hoops past Franklin

Zoe Curtis action photo

FRANKLIN, Ind. – A solid defensive effort secured a 68-62 win for Earlham College women's basketball over host Franklin College, in a Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference matchup on Saturday afternoon at the Spurlock Center.   

A free throw by Earlham junior guard Camryn White and a layup from junior forward Zoe Curtis put the Quakers on the scoreboard first. Franklin answered immediately with a five-point run to gain the lead. For the remainder of the first quarter, the teams remained neck-and-neck. Franklin maintained their lead by going 9-of-10 from the charity stripe. 

The second quarter belonged to Earlham. The Quakers outscored the Grizzlies, 19-10, with all of the Earlham points scored from field-goal range. Earlham raised its field goal percentage from 33.3 percent in the first quarter to 45 percent in the second quarter, allowing the Quakers to go into the halftime break leading, 35-33.

Franklin scored four straight points to begin the third quarter, taking a 37-35 lead over Earlham. The Quakers were not deterred by Franklin's strong start, and the battled back to take the lead.

In the final quarter, the defense - anchored by Acacia Tenette - sealed the deal for the Quakers. Earlham held Franklin to 29.4 percent from field goal range and zero percent from the three-point distance.

Tenette pulled down a career-high 12 rebounds - six offensive and six defensive.

Curtis regained her spot at the top of the scoring board for the Quakers with 17 points, and she also tallied eight rebounds. White and sophomore guard Kayla Bowling accounted for 15 points apiece.

The win was Earlham's fourth over its last six contests and keeps the Quakers in fifth place in the HCAC standings with a game in hand. Earlham women's basketball is now 8-12 on the season, the most wins for the program since the 2014-15 season (9-16), and 6-7 in the HCAC. 

Earlham returns to action on Monday, Feb. 4, when it travels to North Manchester, Ind., to face Manchester University in a make-up contest from the originally scheduled January 19 date that was postponed due to weather.