BRYN MAWR, Pa. - The Bryn Mawr basketball team took another close game deep into the fourth quarter earlier Monday night. Unfortunately for the Owls, they were once again unable to get the key baskets or stops they needed to pull out the victory, as visiting Cairn University managed to squeak away with a 60-55 win on the night. The Highlanders were championed by Amie Eppolito, who led all scorers with 21 points on the night. The Owls featured three scorers in double-digits including Cleo Elizabeth-Robertson, who led Bryn Mawr with 18 points.
The Owls (3-12) got off to a very fast start in tonight's contest, with Erica Dwyer getting the hosts on the board with a three-pointer. In fact, Bryn Mawr's first three buckets of the game were of the three-point variety, and all of them came from Dwyer. The freshman picked up nine points in the first five minutes of play to hand the Owls a 9-5 lead in the early going. Then, a great drive by Elizabeth-Robertson earned her a trip to the free-throw line, where she promptly sank the pair to give Bryn Mawr their largest lead of the game.
However, Cairn (4-13) did a great job of buckling down over the remainder of the quarter. The Highlanders closed out the first frame on a nice five-point run that actually handed them a 15-14 lead at the break. Throughout the second quarter, the two sides battled back and forth trying to go on a run, but neither team was able to pull away by more than three points. Ultimately, a basket from Cairn's Aigner Bookard gave the Highlanders a 26-24 lead headed into the halftime break.
Bryn Mawr did a great job of weathering an early run from Cairn out of the break. With the score at 30-26 in favor of the visitors, Elizabeth Chan made a jumper to get her side back within two. Then, Elizabeth-Robertson went up strong for a defensive rebound on the other end, and that led to a breakout that saw Dwyer get open on the wing and hit yet another three-ball to put the Owls up one. Once again, Cairn battled back to take the lead, but this time it was Elizabeth-Robertson who hit a basket late in the quarter to tie things up at 37-all, turning the final quarter into a winner-take-all thriller.
The Owls took the early advantage in the frame with a nice layup from Veronica Roux. However, Cairn had an immediate response, with back-to-back baskets giving the visitors a 42-39 lead. That trend would continue for the next few minutes; Bryn Mawr got back within one on a layup from Elizabeth-Robertson, but the Highlanders took back control with another five-point run to go ahead 47-41. Buckets from Chan and Elizabeth-Robertson pulled Bryn Mawr back within four, but the Owls simply could not get the defensive stops they needed to get back in the game. Cairn only hit seven of their twelve free throw chances at the end of the game, allowing Bryn Mawr to chip a ten-point deficit down to seven, but a late basket from Elizabeth-Robertson could only pull Bryn Mawr back to five. Ultimately when the final horn sounded, the Highlanders walked away with the 60-55 victory.
Ultimately what may have made the biggest difference on the night was rebounding. Cairn pulled down 16 offensive rebounds in the game and out-rebounded Bryn Mawr overall by nine. Those offensive boards turned out to be a big blow to the Owls, as the Highlanders manufactured 14 second-chance points off of the offensive glass.
Bryn Mawr will look to rebound quickly from this tough loss and get right back on a positive train for their next game. The Owls will travel down to D.C. on Thursday night for their next contest, as they will take on Trinity Washington University. Gametime against the Tigers, who are currently 5-6 on the season, is slated for 7:00 PM.