COLLEGEVILLE, Pa. - The Bryn Mawr basketball team got back in action earlier Wednesday evening, kicking off a three-game road stretch with a Centennial Conference contest at Ursinus. Despite yet even stronger stretches of play from the Owls, their opponents shot the lights out in this one. The Bears hit half their shots in the first three periods of action, allowing Ursinus to ease away to a 71-46 victory. Halena Martin once again put on a brilliant showing for the Owls, leading the way with 16 points in the game. Ursinus saw double-digit scoring from four different players, including 13 from Kaci McNeave to lead the hosts. Toni Suler also was a big force for the Bears, frustrating the Owls inside the paint with eight blocks on the evening.
It was another slow start for the Owls as Ursinus ran out to an 8-0 lead in the opening minutes, but Bryn Mawr came roaring back midway through the frame. Adriana Castilla-Hernandez got Bryn Mawr on the board with a three-ball on an assist from Erica Dwyer to halt the Bears' run. Then Dwyer cashed in on an easy layup down low with a nice move, and Martin drained a jumper to help Bryn Mawr keep pace with their foes. After Ursinus was able to get a few stops and put together another rally, Kara Breeden put a stop to the run with a strong drive to the hoop to earn a trip to the free throw line. The Owls junior promptly sank the pair, and on Bryn Mawr's next possession, Sydney Garner got in on the action with some great positioning inside for a layup. Ursinus would close out the quarter with a layup of their own, however, allowing the hosts to double up on the Owls by a score of 22-11.
As has been the case in the recent past, once Bryn Mawr has gotten some game action in their system, they seem to play much better ball, and that was once again the deal this evening. The Owls played a magnificent second quarter, equalling the Bears punch for punch. Cleo Elizabeth-Robertson, who had a terrific evening with seven points and seven rebounds off the bench, got things started for Bryn Mawr with a nice layup fifteen seconds into the frame. That sparked a good run for the Owls which also saw layups for Dwyer and Martin, who would also hit another of her trademark mid-range jump shots as well. That shot got Bryn Mawr all the way back within five points of the Bears at 24-19, and the Owls run also forced Ursinus to take a timeout. With Bryn Mawr putting major pressure on the hosts, Lydia Konstanzer helped Ursinus in a big way with back-to-back buckets to halt the Owls rally. Martin would continue her hot shooting in the quarter for Bryn Mawr, nailing two more jumpers. However, by the 3:30 mark Ursinus has bloated their lead back out to 13 points. This time it was Dwyer who helped Bryn Mawr stay in contact with the Bears, making four free throws in the final 90 seconds to send the teams to halftime with the Owls trailing just 27-38.
Unfortunately for Bryn Mawr, the trend of a good quarter/bad quarter continued out of the break, as the third quarter was all Ursinus. The Owls were held to just 1-for-12 from the floor in the frame, with the lone basket being a layup from Elizabeth Chan. Free throws from Chan and Elizabeth-Robertson were only other points Bryn Mawr could find. Meanwhile Ursinus continued to shoot hot in the frame, hitting 50% in the quarter en route to 20 points.
The fourth quarter was yet again a completely different story. Bryn Mawr outscored and outplayed the Bears throughout much of the final frame. Martin started things off for the Owls with two more jumpers, and then Kara Breeden completed her perfect night at the charity stripe with two more made free throws. Bryn Mawr controlled play down low in the quarter, getting some great looks inside thanks to strong drives and great post play from the bigs. Those efforts earned Garner another layup, as well as another layup for Martin. Elizabeth-Robertson would close out the scoring for Bryn Mawr with two layups in the final minute of play, getting the Owls to 46.
The victory for Ursinus was their 50th in series history between these two programs. In a strange coincidence, tonight's final margin of 25 happened to be exactly the same as when these two teams faced off in early December. However, the second meeting was certainly a much better contest from Bryn Mawr's perspective, as the Owls scored more points, pulled down more rebounds, and most impressively, turned the ball over 19 fewer times.
Bryn Mawr will look to keep the positive momentum going when they get back in action on Saturday afternoon. The Owls will play a non-conference contest this weekend, as they have a "bye" from Centennial Conference play. Bryn Mawr will travel just down the road to Rosemont for a big matchup between the two local schools. The series history is incredibly close, with Rosemont holding a slight 44-40 edge in wins. However, the Ravens have won the past six meetings between the two schools. Bryn Mawr will look to end that streak and keep their strong play going on Saturday when the two teams hit the court at 1:00 PM at Rosemont.