Franklin led 8-7 in the early going after a layup from Braxton Day at the 17:53 mark of the first half. The Quakers responded by scoring on four of their next five possessions resulted in an 8-0 run and a 15-8 Earlham lead.
Franklin stopped the run with a jumper from Aaron Mann, but a three-pointer from freshman Kenneth Stalling Jr., a free throw from sophomore Darrell Hutchison, and a jumper from sophomore Chainey Zolman put the Quakers up 21-10 with nine minutes remaining in the first half.
The Grizzlies stiffened up on defense, however, ending the first half on a 26-9 run to take a 36-29 lead into halftime.
Earlham got within five points at 45-40 on a Hutchison jump shot with 15:09 to play in regulation, but Franklin stretched its lead back to ten points on a pair of free throws from Robbie Prather.
The Quakers continued to battle and got within two points (60-58) after two free throws from junior Elijah Wilson-Thomas with 6:45 to play. Franklin would score the next five points, but a three-pointer from Wilson-Thomas and two free throws from Hutchison with four minutes to play got Earlham within two points (65-63) once again.
Franklin would score on its final eight possessions to seal the close victory.
Hutchison finished with 21 points, four rebounds, and three assists while converted a career-high nine free throws. Wilson-Thomas also tallied 21 points to go along with six boards.
Braxton Day led the Grizzlies with 23 points on 10-16 shooting from the field. Mann finished with 21 points despite making just 5-20 field goals. Prather added 18 points.
Earlham shot 48 percent (24-50) from the field compared to 39.4 percent (26-66) for Franklin. The Quakers made 10-20 three-point attempts while Franklin converted 9-24 attempts from distance. The visitors won the rebounding battle 39-31.
The Quakers return to action at Defiance College on Wednesday.
The game started off promising as senior Maya Luney scored the first point in a free throw, but Sarah Taylor swung the favor toward the Grizzlies 7-5 with five minutes to play in the first quarter. The Quakers tried to take back the advantage, but failed to score as the Grizzlies took an 18-5 lead into the second quarter.
Franklin scored the next five points to grow its lead to double digits. With three minutes to go, Mallory Cast made a jump shot putting the Grizzlies up by a dozen, but seniors Shania Feathers and Hannah Franklin both managed jump shots with two minutes on the clock putting Earlham within eight points. Grizzly Melissa Beer ended the first half with a free throw putting Franklin up 33-24 at the break.
The Quakers trailed by as many as 14 points in the third quarter (44-30), but ended the quarter on a 7-0 run capped by a layup from Shannon Pittman.
A jumper from Franklin to open the fourth quarter, the jumper that gave Franklin 1,000 career points, pulled the Quakers within five at 44-39. Both teams scored five points over the next several minutes, but the Grizzlies put together a 7-2 run to regain a double-digit lead and close out the game.
Mandy Fisher gave the Grizzlies 21 points while Hannah Franklin gave the Quakers 12. While the Grizzlies got more rebounds at 46-32, Earlham managed to 12 assists within this game.
The Quakers continues HCAC play against Defiance College on Wednesday. Tip-off is slated for 7:30 p.m.