Swarthmore Squeaks Past Owls in Tight Contest

Swarthmore Squeaks Past Owls in Tight Contest

BRYN MAWR, Pa. - The Bryn Mawr basketball team played an incredible first half earlier tonight against visiting Swarthmore. The Owls were all over the place on both sides of the court, forcing turnovers and creating points on offense with great screens and cuts. At halftime, the two teams headed into the locker rooms tied at 26-26, setting the scene for a winner-take-all second half. Unfortunately for the Owls, that second frame went much differently from the first, as the Garnet came out on fire in the second half, using a ridiculous 9-of-11 performance from beyond the arc to ultimately avoid the upset with a 74-44 victory. Freshmen Erica Dwyer and Elizabeth Chan led the way for Bryn Mawr, scoring 15 and 12 points respectively. Four of Swarthmore's five starters ended up in double-digits including Jessica Jowdy, who led the Garnet with 15 points on the night.

Swarthmore (5-17) got off to a hot start early on with a 7-0 run right out of the gate. Dwyer helped halt that run with a three-pointer, and then a jumper from Cleo Elizabeth-Robertson got Bryn Mawr (3-17) back within one score. Later on in the quarter, Sanam Sheriff earned a layup with a great cut down the left wing, with a nice assist from Chan on the opposite baseline. A few possessions later, Sheriff found herself open at the top of the arc and splashed a long three-pointer to make it a 10-12 game. Swarthmore closed the quarter with a three-ball of their own, but it was still just a five-point game at the break.

Bryn Mawr found some momentum of their own to start the second quarter. Elizabeth-Robertson hit another nice jump shot, and then Veronica Roux made a great move in the post to hit a layup and earn an extra free throw, which she converted. Swarthmore went on a 7-0 run to stretch their lead back up to 24-15 midway through the quarter, but then it was the Owls' turn to answer back. Roux hit a pair of free throws, and then a minute later it was Dwyer's turn to earn a trip to the charity stripe and sink another pair. After another great defensive stop, Chan hit a jumper on the offensive end to get the Owls within three. Swarthmore's Abbey Deckard hit a layup to momentarily stop the Bryn Mawr rush, but Chan answered right back with yet another smooth jumper. Roux provided some great defensive work on the next trip down, earning a steal. On the runout, Dwyer was able to find some space on the wing and hit a three-pointer, tying the game back up at 26-all. The Owls had a great chance to take the lead into the break with two offensive possessions in the final minute, but were unable to capitalize on an out-of-bounds play under the basket, and ultimately the sides went into the halftime break with the score still deadlocked.

Whatever message Swarthmore head coach Renee DeVarney sent to her players in the locker room at halftime must have had dramatic effect, as the Garnet looked like a completely different team right out of the gate in the second half. Deckard hit a three-pointer for the visitors just 15 seconds into the third period, and unfortunately for the Owls, that was a bad omen of things to come. Swarthmore shot 4-for-5 from beyond the arc in the third quarter, and bettered that with a 5-for-6 performance in the fourth. That added up to a ridiculous 81% average in the second half for one of the worst three-point shooting teams in the conference this season.

Bryn Mawr, meanwhile, found tough sledding on the offensive end in the second half. The Owls turned the ball over 13 times and made just five shots from the field in the entire second half, a tough combination. Chan scored eight points and Dwyer seven, but it simply wasn't enough to keep pace with the torrid three-point shooting of the Garnet. Ultimately, Swarthmore scored 48 points in the second half to walk away with a 74-44 victory on the night.

The Owls will continue their homestand with their next game this Friday night. Bryn Mawr will host Trinity Washington University in the return game of a home-and-home series. Earlier this season, the Tigers handed Bryn Mawr a 61-43 loss down in Washington, D.C., so Bryn Mawr will certainly be looking for some revenge when the teams face off on Friday. Tip off is slated for 7:00 PM in the Class of 1958 Gymnasium.