BRYN MAWR, Pa. - The Bryn Mawr basketball team dusted off the Class of 1958 Gymnasium and got back to work at home earlier Saturday afternoon in their home opener for this 2015-16 season. Facing a tough opponent in Nazareth College out of Rochester, New York, the Owls put forth a tremendous effort and gave the Golden Flyers a scare for a good portion of the game. The freshman duo of Cleo Elizabeth-Robertson and Erica Dwyer had no problem continuing their hot streak here at home, as the pair once again led the Owls in scoring today. Elizabeth-Robertson was tops for Bryn Mawr with 15 points, while Dwyer was hot on her heels with 14 points and a perfect 9-for-9 effort from the free throw line on the day. However, the Golden Flyers inside presence proved to be too much to handle for the Owls on the afternoon. Nazareth scored over half their points in the paint and were led by two towering forwards in scoring. Center Lindsey Kelly led all scorers on the day with 19 points, while Fanny Kilpinen chipped in another 13 points off the bench in the Golden Flyers' 91-45 win.
Bryn Mawr (1-3) got out in front early thanks to solid work on both ends of the floor out of the gate. The Owls forced Nazareth into a deep three pointer on their opening possession, and the forwards did a great job of boxing out and allowing guard Kara Breeden to find the loose ball. After running a well-designed play, Elizabeth-Robertson made a great cut through the lane and into the post, where Adriana Castilla-Hernandez found her with a nice pass for a wide open layup. A few possessions later, Elizabeth-Robertson would again hit another layup, putting the Owls up 4-2. Unfortunately, Nazareth (2-0) would engineer a 19-5 run over the remainder of the quarter to take a 21-9 into the break between periods.
The Owls offense found a bit more of a foothold in the second frame, as Kara Breeden did a great job of earning a trip to the free throw line early on. That trend continued throughout the quarter, with Elizabeth-Robertson and Dwyer also getting to the charity stripe for points in the period. Then, with just over a minute left to play in the half, Sanam Sheriff got her name on the scoresheet as she buried a deep three pointer on a sweet assist from Dwyer. However, once again the Golden Flyers closed the frame out on another run, this time to take a 45-19 lead into the locker room at halftime.
Out of the halftime break, Nazareth was once again a thorn in the Owls' side, as the Golden Flyers put up a game-high 29 points in the quarter to extend their lead. However, Bryn Mawr buckled down in the final period and showed a lot of promise for what is to come the rest of this season. The Owls defense locked down, holding their opponents to just 17 points, while Bryn Mawr went out and put up 17 themselves in the frame. Once again, it was driving the ball inside and forcing the Nazareth bigs into fouling that got the Owls going, as they tallied their first three points of the quarter on free throws. That opened the door for the midrange jumpers to start falling as well, with Elizabeth-Robertson, Breeden, and Roux each showing some smooth strokes from about 15 feet at times. Dwyer capped off the afternoon for Bryn Mawr by sealing her perfect day at the free throw line with two more makes.
In the end, the scrappy Owls showed more aggressiveness and desire, but they were unable to make up the height difference that they faced against Nazareth. The Golden Flyers bigs were...big, in this game, and the visitors earned 52 points in the paint and 27 second-chance points on the day in their victorious effort.
Bryn Mawr will get Sunday off to rest before getting right back in action on Monday night. The Owls will once again be at home, this time for a big game against Summit University. The Defenders come into Monday's game having lost their home-opener Friday evening to Penn State Wilkes Barre by a score of 38-43. After two tough losses, both Bryn Mawr and Summit will be looking to rebound when they face off on Monday night. That game is sure to be an exciting one, and it is slated to get underway at 6:00 PM in the Class of 1958 Gymnasium.