Langhorne, Pa. - It was a great night for the Bryn Mawr basketball team earlier Monday evening, as the team picked up their first win of the season in a thrilling game against Cairn University. The Owls charged out to a 22-11 lead over the Highlanders at the half, only to see that lead nearly disappear before making a big run late to seal their 44-35 win. Junior Veronica Roux led the way for the Owls as a nearly unstoppable force down low. The strong forward tallied a double-double on the night, putting up a career-high 18 points and adding 10 rebounds in the victorious effort. Adriana Castilla-Hernandez also had a big night on the boards, crashing the glass for 12 rebounds of her own. Cairn was led by Amie Eppolito, who poured in 17 points on the night.
Bryn Mawr (1-10) got off to a hot start in the contest, scoring the first six points of the game. Roux got it started with a layup right off of the opening tip. Then, Holly Constants earned a trip to the free throw line and sank both freebies to make it 4-0. After a missed shot by the Highlanders, it was Roux once again doing damage, converting an offensive rebound into points to cap off the run. Cairn briefly staunched the bleeding with a layup of their own, but Bryn Mawr answered right back to make it 8-2 when Constants drilled a jump shot just inside the arc.
Cairn (2-11) managed to chip their deficit down to four points over the next several minutes, but then the Owls used another eight-point run to pull away once again. Castilla-Hernandez and Roux each converted baskets before Sanam Sheriff drained jumpers on back-to-back possessions to hand the Owls an 18-6 lead. Although Cairn would try and chip away over the next few moments, Bryn Mawr would score twice more before the half ended, including another jumper from Constants, to take a 22-11 lead into the locker room at halftime.
After shooting just 4-30 (13.3%) from the floor in the first half, even the casual observer could tell that Cairn would definitely have a run in them in the second frame, and that proved to be true. Although it was the Owls who would score first via a free throw from Roux, the Highlanders came storming out of the gates in the new half. A seven-point run quickly made it a 23-18 lead, cutting Bryn Mawr's old ten-point lead in half in just over three minutes. After a timeout by head coach Becky Tyler, the Owls responded with a silky smooth jump shot from Kara Breeden. Once again, however, Cairn built another run, going on an 8-2 swing that included two three-pointers from Eppolito and Tori Moll, and suddenly the Owls found themselves leading by just one point.
Weaker teams might have folded at that point in the game, having seen a nearly insurmountable lead overcome in the span of just over seven minutes. However, Tyler and the Owls remained calm, and after another timeout, Bryn Mawr got things back on track thanks to a sweet drive and layup by Chantille Kennedy. Roux followed that up with a layup, and then a few minutes later, two free throws. Breeden would make three free throws of her own on the next two possessions, and then Castilla-Hernandez converted a layup to stretch Bryn Mawr's lead all the way back up to 37-28. This big run took almost all of the wind out of the Highlanders' sails, as they would score just seven more points on the night. Bryn Mawr made good on most of their trips to the free throw line to put the game just far enough out of reach, and when the final horn sounded, the Owls had clinched their first victory in 44-35 fashion.
Bryn Mawr only gets a single day to enjoy tonight's win, as the Owls will be off on Tuesday before travelling the short distance to Rosemont College for another big game. The Ravens are 6-9 on the season, but are currently in the midst of a big three-game winning streak. Both sides will look to continue their winning ways when things tip off at 7:00 PM on the Rosemont campus Wednesday evening.