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Owls Open Conference Play With Tough Matchup Against Muhlenberg

Owls Open Conference Play With Tough Matchup Against Muhlenberg

BRYN MAWR, Pa. - The Bryn Mawr basketball team kicked off their Centennial Conference slate of games earlier Tuesday night by welcoming Muhlenberg to the Class of 1958 Gymnasium. The Mules came into the evening as the three-time defending Centennial Conference champions, and their play on the evening showcased just why they are the top dog in the league. Despite a strong start by Bryn Mawr and solid play by the Owls throughout the night, it was Muhlenberg who used a deep bench to run away with a 94-37 victory. Halena Martin led all scorers on the night with a 16-point outburst for the Owls. Muhlenberg featured four players in double-digits, led by 13 points apiece from Emily O'Mahoney and Ny Thomas.

Bryn Mawr got out in front early on in tonight's affair thanks to some hot shooting and strong defense. On the Owls' first possession of the night, Halena Martin did some hard work down low and put a nice move on her defender, ultimately making an easy jumper to put the Owls ahead 2-0. Muhlenberg would tie the contest up at 2-2, but Martin immediately provided a response with a layup to thrust Bryn Mawr back out in front. The Mules were ice cold from the floor early, and Bryn Mawr did a great job collecting rebounds and keeping the visitors off the glass in the opening minutes. After another missed jumper by the Mules, Bryn Mawr put together another solid possession, running a play that found Laya Paladugu open for an easy layup inside. The visitors were able to cut into the lead with a bucket of their own, but Bryn Mawr continued to frustrate the Muhlenberg attack, so much so that Mules head coach Ron Rohn made an entire "line change" just moments later.

That decision seemed to light a fire under the Mules, who went on a 12-2 run to close out the quarter and never look back. With a 16-8 lead at the start of the second frame, Muhlenberg put together an even bigger offensive eruption. The visitors went on a 22-2 run over the first five minutes of the second quarter that really put a dagger in the Owls' hopes. That gave Mulenberg a 38-10 lead, a deficit that Bryn Mawr simply couldn't recover from. The Owls did still show plenty of positives despite the tough situation, with a jump shot from Cleo Elizabeth-Robertson putting an end to that rally. Later, Halena Martin would make a pair of free throws and a jump shot, and then Elizabeth-Robertson showed some great strength by fighting through a foul to score a layup and sink the "and-1" layup as well. At halftime, despite both teams shooting in the mid-30s percentage-wise in the first half, Muhlenberg held a 45-21 lead thanks to points off turnovers and second-chance opportunities.

Meagan Murray-Bruce, who had a great game on both sides of the ball for the Owls, was the first scorer of the second half for Bryn Mawr, tallying a free-throw after some strong physical play down low. The "bigs" stayed productive in the third quarter for the Owls, as Halena Martin later hit another pair of free-throws before Murray-Bruce hit a second of her own. In fact, all eight of the Owls' points in the third quarter would come on free throws, as Bryn Mawr shot 0-for-10 from the floor but 8-for-10 from the charity strip in the quarter. The Owls got their first field goal of the half with 7:26 remaining in the fourth quarter on a jumper off the glass from Elizabeth-Robertson. Murray-Bruce would hit a jumper of her own a few minutes later, and Martin closed out the scoring for Bryn Mawr in the game with a jumper on an assist from Lipi Paladugu and a pair of free throws.

Alongside Martin's 16-point effort, Murray-Bruce also broke out with her first-career double-double. The solid center tallied 10 points and pulled down 11 rebounds in the contest, both of which were career-high marks for the California native. For Muhlenberg, along with the 13 points each from O'Mahoney and Thomas, starter Rachel Plotke added 11 points and reserve Ashley Polera chipped in 10. Turnovers were one of the biggest stories of the night, as Bryn Mawr coughed up possession 29 times leading to 41 Muhlenberg points, while the Mules turned the ball over just 11 times leading to a lone point for the Owls.

Bryn Mawr will get a nice little break for Thanksgiving over the next few days, as the team will return to action a week from tonight. The Owls will face their first road test of the season next Tuesday when they face off against Haverford. Gametime between the Bi-Co rivals is slated for 6:00 PM on November 28th.