NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. - The Bryn Mawr basketball team showed some impressive early-season resolve earlier Sunday afternoon at the Women's College Tip-Off Tournament. The Owls battled back from a late deficit against Cedar Crest to force overtime, where they thumped the Falcons and ran away with a 65-56 win. The freshman duo of Cleo Elizabeth-Robertson and Erica Dwyer again put up incredible numbers, as the pair scored 25 and 21 points respectively to lead the way in the contest.
The two sides traded the lead back and forth over the opening few minutes as neither Bryn Mawr (1-1) nor Cedar Crest (0-2) could open up more than a one point lead in that time frame. With just 3:32 left to go in the first quarter, senior Veronica Roux nailed a jumper to put the Owls up 10-9. However, a six point run from the Falcons gave them the first "big" lead of the game at five. Cedar Crest was able to hang onto that lead into the start of the second quarter and actually extend it to eight on a three-pointer from Sechinahglory Tucke.
Dwyer got Bryn Mawr started at chipping away at that deficit with a deep three-ball of her own soon after, cutting the lead down to five. A few possessions later, the freshman guard pulled down an offensive rebound and earned a pair of free throws which she promptly drained. After a missed jumper from Cedar Crest, it was Elizabeth-Robertson's turn to bury a three-point basket to tie things back up at 22-22. A little later on, Kara Breeden hit a jumper to give the Owls their biggest lead to that point, but Cedar Crest tied things back up at 24-all just before the half.
The Falcons came out of the break on fire, as they were able to hold Bryn Mawr to just six points in the third quarter and open up a 36-30 lead into the start of the fourth frame. That still left plenty of time for the Owls to chip away at their deficit. Elizabeth-Robertson helped spark the comeback by going on a four-point run of her own, nailing a jump shot and hitting on a pair of free throws to get back within two. A little later on, the freshmen combined to get Bryn Mawr back in front as Elizabeth-Robertson and Dwyer hit back-to-back jumpers to put the Owls ahead 40-39.
The next few minutes were a furious run of back-and-forth action until ultimately Cedar Crest ended up with a two-point lead after a free throw with just sixteen seconds left to play. Bryn Mawr had one last look at driving the ball down the court to try and tie or take the lead, and they managed to do just that. The Owls got the ball in right off the free throw and worked the ball into the hands of Breeden. The sophomore guard managed to get a great look at the hoop and drained a jump shot with just eleven seconds left to tie the game back up at 49-49. Cedar Crest's last gasp three pointer went errant, and the two sides headed into an overtime period.
With the momentum from tying things up fresh in the rearview mirror, Bryn Mawr took control of the final frame and would not let go. Elizabeth-Robertson and Dwyer combined to give the Owls a 56-51 lead, and the Owls defense continued to perform at a high level over the final few minutes. Bryn Mawr forced four turnovers in the overtime period and hit eight free throws to climb away to a 65-56 final score for their first win of the season.
Defensively, Breeden had a huge day as she basically shut down one of Cedar Crest's best players. Not only did Breeden hit the game-tying bucket, but the sophomore held Taylor Osley to just five points on 2-of-11 shooting and forced her into five turnovers. "Overall, the team showed a lot of fight to close the gap and then push ahead late," Bryn Mawr head coach Becky Tyler proudly stated.
The Owls will now get a couple days rest after their back-to-back games, and then the team will be right back in action on Wednesday night. Bryn Mawr will travel to New Jersey for another tough contest against Rutgers-Camden. The Owls will be looking to avenge a tough home loss last season to the Scarlet Raptors, and they'll bring a whole lot more firepower to the floor this time for their road game. Tipoff is set for 7:00 PM at Rutgers-Camden.