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Owls Keep It Close Against Haverford, but Second-Half Run Propels Fords to Victory

Sydney Garner plays for the Owls in the 2017-18 season

BRYN MAWR, Pa. - The Bryn Mawr basketball team returned to action on their home court Tuesday evening, fresh off a big win over Mount Holyoke this past weekend. The momentum from that victory certainly carried over into the early part of tonight's game against Haverford, as the Owls played suffocating defense throughout the first-half to neutralize the Haverford attack. However, offensive struggles became the downfall of the Owls in the second half, as ultimately Haverford was able to pull away to a 64-22 win in the contest. Halena Martin led Bryn Mawr with seven points on the night, while Sydney Garner had a great all-around game with eight rebounds, an assist, and a block in the contest. Haverford was led by 20 points from Sierra Berkel, as the senior forward tallied a double-double with 10 rebounds as well.

The opening minutes of play foretold of a low scoring affair, and that certainly proved true in the first half. Haverford to a lead on their opening possession, but Bryn Mawr answered right back with a jumper by Cleo Elizabeth-Robertson on a great pass from Kara Breeden. Haverford jumped back ahead on two free throws from Berkel, which would become another theme of the night, but Bryn Mawr once again responded on a jumper from Martin, this time with the feed from Elizabeth-Robertson. The Fords managed to put back-to-back buckets together to stretch out a lead, but the Owls kept staying close as Martin drilled a three from the top of the arc to make it 8-7. The teams then went over three minutes without scoring a point, with fouls and turnovers commonplace for both sides in that stretch. Haverford finally snapped the drought on a pair of free throws from Anna-Sophia Capizzi, and the first quarter would end with the Fords ahead 10-7.

In the second period, the defenses once again proved to be terrific. Both sides were blocking shots, causing turnovers, and rebounding missed shots with aplomb. Bryn Mawr finally broke through for the first basket of the quarter 2:37 in, as Elizabeth Chan took a pass from Elizabeth-Robertson, found some open space, and hit a jumper to draw the Owls back within one. Bryn Mawr had a chance to take their first lead of the game soon after, as Chan made a terrific defensive play to jump in front of a pass and steal the ball. However, on the ensuing possession, Garner had a layup attempt blocked and the Fords were able to collect the loose ball. Berkel would nail another free throw on the visitors' next possession, and that would spark a brief six-point run that put the Fords ahead 16-9. Bryn Mawr answered back at the 3:51 mark of the period on a pair of free throws from Elizabeth-Robertson, but the Fords scored eight more points unanswered to close out the quarter and send the visitors into the locker room with a 24-11 lead on the Owls.

Whatever Haverford head coach Bobbi Morgan told her team at halftime must have made quite an impact, as the Fords exploded out of the gates in the third quarter. The team scored 17 straight points to open the frame and take a commanding 41-11 lead over the Owls, who struggled to match up with the higher-energy Fords defense. Bryn Mawr turned the ball over eight times in the third period and hit just two field-goal attempts, including a Kara Breeden jumper from the paint at the buzzer. The fourth quarter was only slightly better, as the Owls cut down on their turnovers by a large margin, but still shot just 3-for-12 from the floor in the frame. Lipi Paladugu had two of those baskets, the first coming on a pretty move to earn an easy layup on a pass from Elizabeth-Robertson. Later in the quarter, she nailed a deep three-pointer off a pass from her sister Laya, who netted Bryn Mawr's final points on a jumper with less than a minute to go in the game. Ultimately, Haverford was able to outscore the Owls 40-11 in the second half to claim their 64-22 win.

Bryn Mawr will look to get right back on track this weekend when they get back in action on the road. The Owls will travel to Maryland to face off against McDaniel College on Saturday, with that game set for a 3:00 PM tip-off.