BRYN MAWR, Pa. - Saturday afternoon marked the third game in five days for the Bryn Mawr basketball team, a tough stretch for any program out there. However, the Owls' task this week was made exceptionally harder by the fact that they had to go up against three of the best teams in the Centennial Conference. That fact was on display on Saturday, as Bryn Mawr battled hard all afternoon, but a deep and potent Franklin & Marshall squad held the upper hand at the end of the day. Halena Martin was the lone player in double-digits for the Owls, while F&M saw three players tally double-digits en route to a 79-29 victory.
Contrary to how the final score might appear, it was actually Bryn Mawr who got out to a hot start in today's contest. The Owls have been a high-scoring team in the opening minutes all season, and that was no different today as Martin nailed a deep three ball right off of the opening tipoff. Franklin & Marshall answered back with three straight baskets of their own to vault out in front, but sophomore Brendan Harrison nailed a jumper to trim the deficit to one. Harrison then came up with a big defensive play on the other end, pulling down a strong defensive rebound among some much taller players and leading the break the other way. Ultimately, Cleo Elizabeth-Robertson would find some space for an open jumper of her own to help the Owls climb back on top 7-6.
Unfortunately, that would be the last lead of the day for Bryn Mawr, as a quick 7-0 run from the Diplomats put the visitors out in front once again. Elizabeth-Robertson made another layup to momentarily stop that rally, but when the first quarter finally ended, Franklin & Marshall's lead had ballooned out to 22-9. The second quarter ended up being an even more difficult task for the Owls, as the home team was only able to score six points against the stalwart Diplomats defense. Laya Paladugu got on the board with a jumper and then two free throws, and Kara Breeden would tally the final basket of the half for either side. However, when the teams headed to the lockers for halftime, F&M held a 47-15 lead.
The third quarter started out with the Paladugu sisters doing the offensive work for the Owls, as Laya sank three free throws and Lipi added a fourth. Later, Elizabeth-Robertson would hit a jump shot and Halena Martin would finally get an inside basket to go down after some unkind bounces off the rim on previous attempts. In the fourth, Martin scored five more points to bring her to ten on the day, and Elizabeth-Robertson added one final free throw. That wasn't enough to keep pace with the Diplomats, who never slowed down en route to their 79-29 win.
Bryn Mawr did a much better job controlling the ball on this day, as the Owls limited themselves to just 14 turnovers. Unfortunately, the suffocating defense from the visitors held Bryn Mawr to a woeful 18.2% shooting from the floor on the afternoon. On the offensive side, Franklin & Marshall was led by 20 points from Erica Brown, with Kristin Hamill and Haley Pilone chipping in 18 and 11 points apiece.
Today was the final home game of 2017 for Bryn Mawr, but the Owls will still have three more games in the month of December. The team kicks off their road trip on Wednesday when they travel down to Washington College for another Centennial Conference showdown. That game is slated to take place at 6:00 PM on Wednesday night.