Franklin, Ind. – Fighting off a cold shooting night early, the Transylvania women's basketball team amped up production in the second half on the way to a 72-52 win against the Franklin College Grizzlies on Wednesday night at the Spurlock Center.
Transylvania improved to 5-2 in Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference play and 11-3 overall. The Pioneers used a steady run over the final 12 minutes of the game to seal up their sixth consecutive victory, their longest of the 2016-17 season.
Sophomore guard Celia Kline led the Pioneers in scoring with 19 points, burying 5-of-13 shots from the three-point line. Junior forward Rachel Cox, the reigning HCAC Player of the Week, continued her high-scoring tear with 16 points, six rebounds, three assists, and one steal. Cox grabbed eight of her 11 points at the free throw line while shooting better than 50 percent from the field in an efficient performance.
Sophomore guard Kristen Hayes led all reserves in scoring with 12 points on 4-for-9 shooting, while adding five rebounds and two assists.
The Pioneers enjoyed a fast start to the contest, outscoring Franklin 22-10 in the first quarter before encountering scoring woes in the second quarter. Franklin outscored Transylvania 18 to 12 in the second quarter to pull within six at the halftime break.
In the third quarter, the Grizzlies continued nipping at the Pioneers' heels, closing within two points with 5:57 remaining in the period. But junior forward Carlee Clemons hit a 3-pointer as the shot clock expired to push Transy's lead back to five.
Nursing a three-point lead, Kline led a potent final minute in the third, hitting back-to-back 3-pointers to hand Transylvania a 49-40 cushion heading into the final quarter.
It was in the fourth quarter that the Pioneers rediscovered their shooting touch as they outscored Franklin 23 to 12 in the final quarter. Kline added another seven points in the final frame, while Hayes put together back-to-back scoring possessions to grow Transylvania's lead to double figures for good.
The Pioneers overcame a 15-for-27 night at the free throw line by getting back 13 makes from three-point range. Transylvania also commanded control of the boards, outrebounding Franklin 44 to 28. The Pioneers enjoyed a noticeable advantage in points off turnovers, outscoring the Grizzlies 16 to 6 in that category.
Transylvania will aim for its seventh straight win as they return home after a string of three straight road games on Saturday to face the Manchester University Spartans. Transylvania and Manchester will square off at 1:00 p.m. from the Beck Center.
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