COLLEGEVILLE, Pa. - Thursday night brought another Centennial Conference faceoff for the Bryn Mawr basketball team, as the Owls travelled over to Ursinus College to take on the Bears. Bryn Mawr certainly came out on fire in tonight's contest, jumping out to a quick lead in the first quarter. However, Ursinus chipped away throughout the game and ultimately ran away to a 73-43 win on their home court. Halena Martin led the Owls with her second double-double of the season. Ursinus got a big night off the bench out of Aliyah Stephens, who dropped a game-high 18 points.
The two teams traded empty possessions to open up tonight's contest, but Bryn Mawr exploded over the next several minutes. That outburst came mostly through the hands of Martin, who drained two deep threes to open the scoring for Bryn Mawr. Ursinus stayed close with two baskets of their own, but Martin helped the Owls extend their lead to 8-4 with a jumper. The Bears would come back and tie the game thanks to baskets from Marisa Morano and Liana Weishaar. However, Martin continued to stay hot, dropping in another jumper on an assist from Laya Paladugu to put Bryn Mawr back out in front. Ursinus slowly started to crawl out in front, however, with a six-point run giving the Bears a 14-10 lead. Another jumper from Martin helped keep the Owls close, and then finally another Owl scored as Cleo Elizabeth-Robertson split a pair of free throws. Ultimately, after a seesaw first quarter, Ursinus held a slim 18-13 lead.
A 12-point run from the hosts to open the second quarter helped give Ursinus their first double-digit lead of the night, but the Owls managed to regroup and stay in the mix. Midway through the frame, Meagan Murray-Bruce grabbed a strong offensive rebound and laid the ball back in while fighting through contact. The strong sophomore nailed her ensuing free throw to complete the old-fashioned three-point play. Later, senior Kara Breeden hit a jumper of her own to spark an 8-0 run for the Owls. Elizabeth-Robertson scored half of those points, with a pair of free throws just before halftime help drawing Bryn Mawr back within 11 at 24-35.
Unfortunately for the Owls, the third quarter proved to be their undoing in tonight's contest. The frame started out in a back-and-forth manner, and Bryn Mawr had several possessions with the ball and a chance to cut their deficit to single digits, but each time they came up empty. The well finally ran dry for the Owls midway through the frame, allowing Ursinus to rip off a 15-2 run to get out to a commanding 55-30 lead. Lipi Paladugu made a jumper to stop the bleeding momentarily, but Ursinus capped off the quarter with a deep three that virtually slammed the door on the final result. In the fourth quarter, Murray-Bruce got four points for the Owls, and Martin hit a basket and pulled down three rebounds, but there simply wasn't enough time for Bryn Mawr to put a rally together. Ultimately, Ursinus protected their home court with the 30-point win.
Martin led the Owls with 17 points in the contest, with 14 of those points coming in the first half. She also grabbed 10 rebounds, giving her a second double-double this season. Elizabeth-Robertson also did some strong work on the glass for Bryn Mawr, pulling down seven rebounds to go along with her eight points. The defining issue on this night for the Owls was ball control; Bryn Mawr turned the ball over 32 times in tonight's contest, leading to a 34-5 advantage for Ursinus in points off turnovers.
The Owls will return home to the Class of 1958 Gymnasium on Saturday to close out their busy week with a home contest. The Owls will welcome Franklin & Marshall to campus for another tough Centennial Conference matchup, with tip-off slated for 1:00 PM.