ALLENTOWN, Pa. - The Bryn Mawr basketball team played in the penultimate game of their 2017-18 season earlier Wednesday night, as the team traveled up I-476 to take on Muhlenberg College. Halena Martin certainly brought her A-game for the Owls on this day, as she led all scorers with 20 points in the contest, including four three-pointers. However, Muhlenberg showcased their top-of-the-league talent throughout the night, rolling through a deep bench en route to a 71-36 victory in the contest. Rachel Plotke led 13 different Mules scorers with a 12-point effort in the contest.
Bryn Mawr got off to a very solid start in the first quarter of tonight's contest, putting up 14 points in the frame. Martin started the Owls' scoring with a deep three off of a pass from Cleo Elizabeth-Robertson. She then took a feed from Kara Breeden and canned another triple to quickly get the Owls' first six points. Laya Paladugu followed that up with a layup on the next possession, and then Kara Breeden hit a jumper off an assist from Lipi Paladugu to get the Owls within two at 10-12. In the latter part of the quarter, Lipi Paladugu and Martin would hit layups as well, giving the Owls their 14-point opening frame. However, for as successful of a first quarter that Bryn Mawr put together, Muhlenberg ultimately doubled-up on that effort. Though it was only a two-point game midway through the frame, the Mules finished the quarter on a 15-4 run to stretch out a 27-14 advantage by the end of the first period.
The sting of that tough ending to the first quarter seemed to carry over for Bryn Mawr in each of their next two quarters. Muhlenberg started the second period on a 10-0 run to cruise out to a big lead. Martin hit two more three-pointers in the frame, the second coming on an assist from Laya Paladugu. Unfortunately, that was the only scoring of the second quarter for Bryn Mawr, and Muhlenberg took a 46-20 lead to the locker room at the half. The break didn't help the Owls' cause, as the team scored just one basket in the third quarter. Bryn Mawr combined to shoot just 3-for-27 in the middle two quarters, and that allowed the Mules to extend their advantage all the way out to 61-22 by the start of the fourth.
The Owls did regroup and put together a very solid final quarter, however. Martin got the scoring started, once again off of a nice pass from Breeden. Later on in the quarter, Breeden, a senior guard playing in her second-to-last game, split a pair of free throws to get Bryn Mawr to 25 points. Both Meagan Murray-Bruce and Brendan Harrison returned from injury in tonight's contest, and both had strong final quarters with made baskets. Martin, Breeden, and Elizabeth-Robertson each also hit baskets over the final minutes as Bryn Mawr outscored Muhlenberg 14 to 10 in the final quarter.
Bryn Mawr will now spend the next two practices prepping for their final contest of the season, a trip to Baltimore to take on Johns Hopkins. The Blue Jays have seized the fourth spot in the Centennial Conference standings headed into next week's league tournament, but look for the Owls to throw a wrench into their preparations by putting up a tough fight on Saturday. Gametime on Saturday the 16th is slated for 2:00 PM in Maryland.