BRYN ATHYN, Pa. - The Bryn Mawr basketball team hit the road earlier Wednesday night for a "Battle of the Bryns", as the Owls played a non-conference contest against the Lions of Bryn Athyn. With both sides looking for a big win to close out their 2017 calendar year, the Owls got off to a good start in tonight's affair. However, Bryn Athyn's offense exploded in both the first and third quarters, helping the hosts manage to fend off Bryn Mawr by a final score of 71-47. Sophomore forward Halena Martin led the Owls with 21 points on the night, a game-high for all players and her second-most points in a game this season. On the other side, Allie Warren had a huge game off the bench for the Lions, shooting 4-for-7 from beyond the arc and a perfect 6-of-6 from the free throw line to rack up 20 points in the contest.
The hosts got out to a quick 4-0 lead in tonight's game, but Bryn Mawr got on the board quickly themselves thanks to a jumper from Lipi Paladugu off of an offensive rebound by Halena Martin. The Owls would continue their solid early play by turning a few more defensive stops into points. First, a well-executed offensive set led to an open jumper for Martin to tie up the game. Then, Meagan Murray-Bruce did some great work down low to earn a layup plus the foul, and though she missed the ensuing free throw, that handed the Owls their first lead of the game at 6-4. After Bryn Athyn knotted things back up with a jumper of their own, Cleo Elizabeth-Robertson came back down the other way and made a great pass to Martin for another bucket to give Bryn Mawr the lead back. However, over the five minutes that remained in the first quarter, Bryn Athyn would go on a 17-1 run that really took the wind out of the Owls' sails. Laya Paladugu scored the lone other point for Bryn Mawr at the free throw line, but Warren would hit all four of her three-pointers in that ridiculous five-minute stretch, leading Bryn Athyn to a 23-9 advantage after one quarter of play.
Despite that somewhat demoralizing stretch, Bryn Mawr did a good job of rebounding in the second frame, starting with a jumper from Elizabeth-Robertson. In fact, the junior would score all nine of her points in the game in that second quarter, going 3-for-4 from the field and 3-for-4 from the free throw line. Halena Martin added three more points on three free throws, and Laya Paladugu added another bucket as the Owls offense got up to speed. However, the hosts still outscored Bryn Mawr 17-14 in the frame and ended up taking a 40-23 lead to halftime. Unfortunately for the Owls, that break only served to help Bryn Athyn, as the Lions exploded for 21 more points in the third quarter. Meanwhile, stifling defense from the hosts held Bryn Mawr to six points in the frame, allowing the Lions to build a 61-29 lead headed to the final quarter.
That last frame is where the Owls played some of their best basketball of the night. Martin led the way, scoring 12 of her points in that final quarter as the Lions had no answer for her dominant play. Kara Breeden also had a strong quarter as she tallied four points, including a nice floater in the lane, and two assists. Bryn Mawr also pulled down five offensive rebounds and earned four steals in the quarter, all en route to shooting almost 50 percent from the floor. In all, Bryn Mawr tallied 18 points in the frame and held Bryn Athyn to just 10, making that the first quarter where Bryn Mawr has outscored their opponent since the Owls' season-opener against Southern Virginia.
Behind Martin, Elizabeth-Robertson (9 points) and Laya Paladugu (7) were the scoring leaders on the night for the Owls. Bryn Mawr was held scoreless from beyond the arc in tonight's contest, giving Bryn Athyn a huge advantage as the hosts went 6-for-14 from beyond the arc in the game. The overall shooting percentage for the two teams was virtually the same; where Bryn Athyn gained the most ground on the Owls came on points off turnovers (28) and second-chance points (20). The Lions also featured four players in double-digits on the night as they spread out the offense well.
The Owls will now get plenty of time to rest up and recover from the opening months of their season, as the team will not return to game action until January 4th. Bryn Mawr will kick off their 2018 calendar year with a two-game homestand, starting that Thursday with a 7:00 PM tip aginst Swarthmore.