BRYN MAWR, Pa. - The Bryn Mawr basketball team faced off against Dickinson College earlier Saturday afternoon in the Class of 1958 Gymnasium in another Centennial Conference showdown. Dickinson got out to an early advantage, but the Owls put together a very strong second quarter to stay in the mix. However, the Red Devils attack reignited, and a Bryn Mawr squad beset by injuries couldn't keep pace in the second half, allowing Dickinson to claim a 61-30 win on the day. The Red Devils featured four scorers in double-digits, led by 14 points from Lauren McBride. The Owls were paced by 11 points from Laya Paladugu, with Halena Martin adding another nine.
Dickinson jumped out to a quick 6-0 lead in the contest, but Bryn Mawr answered back with their first basket of the game, a deep three-pointer from Martin to halve the Owls' deficit. McBride nailed a three-pointer of her own a few possessions later for Dickinson, though, and that sparked the visitors on a 13-0 run to give them a 19-3 lead with 90 seconds left to play in the first quarter. Lipi Paladugu stopped the Red Devils rally with an offensive rebound and putback, but one last basket from Dickinson before the horn sounded gave the visitors a 16-point advantage headed into the second period.
Lipi Paladugu continued her aggressive play in the opening minutes of the second quarter with a hard drive to the basket to draw a foul. She would split the two free throws, and then Martin would hit a jumper on the Owls' next possession. The two traded empty trips down the floor over the next few minutes, but the Red Devils then used a five-point mini-rally to force another Bryn Mawr timeout. Head coach Becky Tyler reinforced the need for her team to step up their defensive effort, and the Owls really seemed to take that to heart over the remaining five minutes in the quarter. Out of the timeout, Cleo Elizabeth-Robertson stepped in front of a pass to take possession, and her ensuing drive earned her a trip to the charity stripe for two free throws. On Dickinson's next possession, it was Laya Paladugu who stole a pass on another solid play, taking the ball coast-to-coast for an easy layup that forced the Red Devils into a timeout of their own. Even that stoppage didn't quell the Owls defensive effort, as Paladugu earned another steal on the very next play, and then Sydney Garner came up with two huge stuff blocks on ensuing possessions. Bryn Mawr capitalized off of that strong defense by chipping away at their deficit, as Martin hit a layup and then Paladugu nailed a pair of free throws to get Bryn Mawr all the way back to within 12 points. Dickinson hit one last jumper before the half ended, but Bryn Mawr had outscored the visitors 11-9 in the frame and had all the momentum going into halftime.
Unfortunately, as is usually the case, momentum proved to be a fickle thing, as Dickinson exploded in the third quarter to take a stranglehold on the proceedings. The Red Devils opened the half on a 20-0 run, including 11 free throws, in the first 5:30 of play to run all the way out to a 50-16 advantage in the game. Laya Paladugu put a halt to that spurt with a layup, and a jumper from Martin and free throw from Paladugu later got the Owls to 21 points, but the third quarter ended with Dickinson holding a 31-point advantage in the game. The fourth quarter held a similar fate for Bryn Mawr, as the fresh legs of Dickinson's reserves were able to hold off the Owls, who never gave up on the game despite only having a two-player bench for the duration of the game. Laya Paladugu continued to stay hot in the final frame, scoring Bryn Mawr's first two baskets, with Elizabeth-Robertson getting Bryn Mawr's next two points on free throws. Elizabeth-Robertson then made another great individual play, pulling down an offensive rebound and scoring the putback through contact, and then going on to make the free throw to complete the old-fashioned three-point play. However, Dickinson matched the Owls' output with nine points of their own in the quarter, allowing the Red Devils to come away with the 61-30 win on the day.
The Owls' defensive effort led to some pretty impressive final stats, as Bryn Mawr's seven blocks are tied for the third-most in a single game in Owls basketball history. With her three blocks today, Halena Martin moved into the top ten in Bryn Mawr basketball history with 37 career blocks. Sydney Garner posted four blocks on the day as well, moving her into 11th place all-time on that same list. Bryn Mawr also had a productive day from the free throw line, shooting their best percentage from the stripe (69.2) with at least ten attempts since the third game of the season, at Muhlenberg. On the other side, Dickinson's result today came mainly on the backs of four players, as McBride, Kassidy Lesher, Halle Maeda, and Hannah Heiring combined to score 48 of the Red Devils' 61 points.
Bryn Mawr will be right back in action Tuesday night to close out this homestand with a game against Washington College. Gametime for that contest is set for 7:00 PM - be sure to attend, as the Owls will be hosting their annual Fight for the Cure event by giving out raffles and prizes and collecting donations to help battle breast cancer.