Bryn Mawr, Pa. - It is very easy for any sports team to give a half-hearted effort in a contest after taking a very tough loss on the chin in their preceding game. However, that is simply not the way of the Bryn Mawr basketball program. The Owls stayed neck-and-neck with the visiting Nittany Lions of Penn State Brandywine earlier Wednesday evening, trailing by just seven points at halftime before the visitors pulled away in the second half. Chantille Kennedy led the way for the Owls, tallying 14 points in the game. Fellow senior Ashton Dwyer chipped in ten more in her final game as an Owl athlete, as Dwyer plans on graduating at the end of this semester.
Penn State Brandywine (5-3, 3-0 PSUAC) tallied the first eight points of the game. However, Bryn Mawr (0-7) responded well over the course of the next few minutes. Kennedy got the Owls on the board with a silky jump shot on a sweet assist from Kara Breeden. The Nittany Lions would pull ahead to a 13-2 lead from there, but Dwyer put a stop to that brief run with her first basket of the night. That sparked a 10-0 run from the Owls, who got baskets from Tosin Ajiboye, Veronica Roux and Adriana Castila-Hernandez in the midst of that rally. Lauren Munro made a layup to briefly stem the onrushing Owls tide, but after a Bryn Mawr timeout, Kennedy earned a trip to the charity stripe with a solid dribble-drive into the paint. The senior guard drained both freebies, cutting the visitors' lead to just one point once again.
After a mass substitution by the Nittany Lions failed to generate any offense on their next possession, the Owls would storm down the court and take the lead in a game for just the second time this season. The ball found its way into the hands of Breeden, and the freshman point guard knew exactly what to do with it, slicing into the lane for an easy layup to put the Owls ahead 16-15. It would be a short-lived experience, however, as Penn State Brandywine immediately re-took the advantage the next time down the court. Breeden tied the game back up on the Owls' next possession by splitting a pair of free throws.
The back-and-forth action continued over the next several minutes, with Penn State Brandywine opening up a four-point lead, only to see the Owls get back within one a few moments later. Trailing by five with just under two minutes to play, Dwyer drained a long three-ball from the corner to make it a 26-24 game. However, the Nittany Lions would score the final six points of the half to take a 31-24 advantage to the locker room. Still, it was the closest margin Bryn Mawr has had with an opponent at halftime this season.
A fiery halftime speech from Brandywine head coach Larry Johnson must have been just what the doctor ordered for the visitors in the second half. The Nittany Lions would go on to shoot over 45 percent from the floor in the frame, compared to a dismal 33 percent in the first half. They also committed just six turnovers to the Owls' twenty, allowing Brandywine to ultimately take home the 73-43 win in the contest.
Bryn Mawr now heads into a long holiday break for the time between semesters. The Owls will return to action when the calendar flips to January, with their first two contests coming on the road. Bryn Mawr will travel to Valley Forge on Tuesday, January 13th before taking on cross-town rival Haverford on the 15th.