Centre women fall to Franklin, 54-48

December 04, 2003|MARTY WARREN

Centre College's women spotted Franklin (Ind.) a 13-point first-half lead and could never recover as they dropped a 54-48 decision Wednesday night at Alumni Gymnasium.

Franklin (4-0) took 21 more shots at the basket due in part to a 43-36 rebounding advantage, 20 of which came off the offensive glass.

The Lady Grizzlies missed several shots in the paint and finished the game shooting only 32 percent while Centre (2-4), which shot only 30 percent during the first half, finished the game with a 42 percent mark.

Franklin raced to a quick 7-0 advantage on a pair of baskets by Lindsey Roberson and a 3-pointer by Jenny Cramer. Centre's Nessa Timoney scored at the 16:54 mark to cut the lead to 7-2, but the Colonels went over three minutes without another basket and the Lady Grizzlies led 13-3 following six points from sophomore forward Becky Ballard.


"We missed a few baskets early in the game and we seemed flat from the start," Centre coach Jennifer Ruff said. "We just started to go through the motions on both ends of the floor.

"Then in the second half we started to take the ball inside more and were able to get some easy shots, and our shooting percentage was higher. I don't know how many times in the first half that we were throwing up shots with five seconds or less on the clock."

Centre trailed by as many as 13 points on three occasions during the first half and went on another dry spell to close the period by scoring only two baskets during the final seven minutes.

The Colonels turned the ball over 13 times, connected on only four of 10 free throws and trailed 28-16 at the half.

"We just made careless mistakes, and you could actually say we were 4-of-12 from the free throw line because we missed the front end of the bonus on two occasions," Ruff added. "If we hit those we are right in the game."

Franklin, which hit only two of 11 3-point attempts in the first half, continued to shoot 3s in the second half. However, the difference in the second half was when the Lady Grizzlies missed the treys, they would battle back to get their own missed shots. They grabbed 14 missed shots during the second half and scored on five of those occasions.

"We wanted to force them into transition and did a good job of that in the second half," Ruff said. "But they did a really nice job of banging the offensive glass."

Centre, however, was able to trim the lead to 36-27 with 14 minutes to play following two buckets each by Virginia Lowery and Casey Geiman.

The Colonels were their own worst enemy once again, though, as they went 6 1/2 minutes without a basket after cutting into the lead and Franklin went on a 9-0 scoring run on a 3-pointer each from Roberson and Stacey Fehr to grab their largest lead at 45-27.

The Colonels made one last run by holding the Grizzlies to only three baskets the rest of the game, and their offense came to life when they started pushing the ball inside more to get better looks at the basket.

Six points from Liz Braun, five from Chelsea Wessel and four by Lowery, who led all scorers with 13 points, helped Centre trim the lead to 54-48, but the Colonels could get no closer.

"I was encouraged by the way we played in the second half, but we have to put a full game together," Ruff said. "If we had played the first half the way we played late in the game, we could have come away with the win. We have to learn to stop getting down on ourselves when things are not going well."

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