Woodard goes off for 23 points, game-winner as Pioneers WBB survive at Franklin in OT

Postgame graphic with score

Franklin, Ind. – Junior guard Ashton Woodard scored a game-high 23 points and the Transylvania women's basketball picked up a thrilling 70-69 overtime victory over the Franklin College Grizzlies at the Spurlock Center on Wednesday night.

The victory was Transylvania's ninth straight and improves their record to 14-2 overall and 8-1 in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference, allowing the Pioneers to keep pace with Rose-Hulman atop the conference standings. The loss drops the Grizzlies to 5-11 overall and 3-6 in league play.

In addition to her 23 points, Woodard grabbed seven rebounds and recorded a block and an assist in 42 minutes of action.

Joining Woodard in double figures were senior guards Kristen Hayes and Celia Kline, who each added 11 points and junior guard Shelby Boyle, who tallied 10 points while playing the full 45 minutes.

The game got off to a slow start for the Pioneers, who struggled mightily on offense throughout the night. After falling behind by six points, the Pioneers eventually cut the deficit to 13-16 at the end of the first quarter thanks to a buzzer-beating layup by Woodard.

The Grizzlies continued to lead the Pioneers throughout the second quarter, eventually building their lead to the largest of the night at 28-19 midway through the quarter.

Undeterred by their poor shooting, the Pioneers began to chip away at the Franklin lead, and with 2:43 remaining in the third quarter, a Woodard layup evened the score at 40-40. However, Transylvania was unable to pull ahead, allowing the Grizzlies to hold a 47-46 lead heading into the fourth quarter.

With less than five minutes remaining in regulation, the Pioneers took their first lead of the night at 54-51 when Kline knocked down a deep three-pointer from the top of the arc.

With just six seconds remaining on the clock, Franklin's Bayleigh Walker knocked down a pair of free throws to give the Grizzlies a 58-57 lead.

But two seconds later, Woodard answered back to tie the game with a free throw of her own, sending the two teams to overtime.

In the extra period, Kline and Woodard knocked down back-to-back three-pointers, giving the Pioneers a 64-60 lead with just over two minutes remaining in the game.

After the Grizzlies tied the game with just eight seconds left in overtime, Woodard found herself at the free throw line yet again. With just one second on the clock, the junior drained a free throw to give Transylvania the 70-69 victory.

The Pioneers will next be in action on Saturday, January 19 as they travel to Bluffton, Ohio for an HCAC showdown with the Bluffton University Beavers. The game is set for a 12:00 p.m. start at the Sommer Center.

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