BRYN MAWR, Pa. - The Bryn Mawr basketball team opened their 2016-17 campaign at home earlier Tuesday evening against Cedar Crest. The Owls were celebrating a big milestone for the program, as it was the 1,001th game in program history, and they nearly earned a big win to help celebrate in style. However, a late charge by the Falcons ultimately spoiled the party for Bryn Mawr, as the visitors came in and stole a 51-48 victory. Erica Dwyer led Bryn Mawr with 18 points on the night, while Halena Martin and Odinaka Oranekwu added nine and eight, respectively. Cedar Crest was led by Tenille Stewart, who poured in 21 points to lead all scorers on the night.
Dwyer got things started early for Bryn Mawr (0-1) by picking up right where she left off last year - a made three pointer. After a missed basket by the Falcons on their next possession, Dwyer splashed another deep ball home again, and then Oranekwu spun past a defender for an easy layup to make it 8-0 in favor of the Owls. Cedar Crest (1-0) started to chip their way back into the game over the middle part of the quarter, with a pair of free throws from Taylor Osley getting the Falcons within one. However, Dwyer answered back with yet another three-ball, and then one last layup from Oranekwu pushed the Bryn Mawr lead to 15-10 by the time the quarter ended.
In the second quarter, the Owls focused on spreading the scoring a bit more thanks to a deep bench, and those efforts helped the hosts extend their lead out to twelve. Layups from Cleo Elizabeth-Robertson and Elizabeth Chan kicked off the frame, and then Halena Martin split a pair of free throws. A clean jumper from Dwyer pushed Bryn Mawr's lead out to a high-water mark of 22-10 with 6:41 left to play in the half. From that point on, though, it was Cedar Crest who went on a run of their own, outscoring the Owls 12-5 down the stretch to battle back within five. A three-ball from Sylera Weller as the horn sounded trimmed Bryn Mawr's lead to just 27-22 at the break.
Cedar Crest would continue that run out of the halftime stoppage, as the visitors scored six unanswered points to take their first lead of the game at 28-27. However, Sydney Garner put the Owls on her back on the next possession, with two offensive rebounds ultimately leading to her made jumper to get Bryn Mawr right back on top. That sparked a big run from the hosts, as they would score ten unanswered points to take a 37-28 lead into the fourth quarter. Later, despite a comeback effort from the Falcons, Erica Dwyer's two free throws gave the Owls a 45-40 lead with under four minutes to play.
Unfortunately for Bryn Mawr, things started to go downhill from there. A free throw and a deep three-pointer from Stewart drew Cedar Crest back within one point. Sydney Garner momentarily stopped the bleeding for the Owls with a sweet layup on an assist from Dwyer, but Cedar Crest scored five unanswered points to vault ahead 49-47. On the next possession, Dwyer was able to draw a foul and headed to the line with 37 seconds left looking to tie things up. However, she missed the front end of her pair, only getting Bryn Mawr back within one at 48-49. The Owls fouled Stewart out of a timeout, but she converted both freebies to push Cedar Crest's lead back up to three. Bryn Mawr got the ball back and missed a jumper, but they were given another chance to tie the game after the Falcons missed two free throws. Unfortunately, the Owls' final efforts would all go begging, leaving the Falcons as the final victors in with the stunning comeback win.
Despite the loss, there were plenty of positives for the Owls, and they'll look to build on those when they get back in action on Thursday night. Bryn Mawr will travel to Cairn University for a 6:00 PM tip. Then they'll return to the Class of 1958 Gymnasium on Saturday for another potentially exciting non-conference tilt against Wilson, with that game slated to start at 2:00 PM.