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Owls Kick Off Conference Play At Muhlenberg

Laya Paldugu takes on Swarthmore in early 2018

ALLENTOWN, Pa. - The Bryn Mawr basketball team opened their Centennial Conference slate earlier Tuesday evening with a tough road trip to Muhlenberg College. The Owls put up a strong effort all night, but ultimately the Mules remained undefeated on the season, pulling away in the second half to an 87-27 victory. Halena Martin led the Owls with nine points on the night, while Laya Paladugu knocked down two threes to add another eight points for Bryn Mawr. The Mules did a great job of rolling through their lineup to keep everyone fresh, playing 21 different players on the night. Amanda Morello led Muhlenberg with nine points on a perfect 4-of-4 night from the floor.

The hosts jumped out to an early 2-0 lead 24 seconds into the game, but then the two defenses buckled down, and the game went scoreless for the next three minutes. The Owls did a great job of forcing several turnovers and missed shots in that stretch, and did solid work on the boards, but were unable to capitalize on the offensive end. Muhlenberg finally broke the drought with three straight baskets, ultimately building a 10-0 lead. A quick timeout from the Owls helped slow things down, and Bryn Mawr finally got on the board on a nice play following that stoppage. Brendan Harrison made a great pass to find Paladugu wide open, and the sophomore guard buried a three-pointer to cut the deficit to single digits. Later, Martin would answer a Muhlenberg layup with a bucket of her own, but the Mules slowly continued to pull away. The hosts built up a 20-5 lead before another jumper from Martin got the Owls back on the board. Later, Laya Paladugu sliced to the basket for a nice layup, and then Cleo Elizabeth-Robertson got on the board with a smooth jumper on a nice feed from Lipi Paladugu. However, when the first quarter came to a conclusion, the Mules had pulled away to a 25-11 lead.

The second quarter was a more difficult one for the Owls, as the visitors would not score until four minutes into the frame. Lipi Paladugu got Bryn Mawr on the board in the quarter with a jumper at the 6:01 mark. Martin would later make another jumper, and then Elizabeth Chan earned a trip to the free throw line and sank both freebies. Unfortunately, that would be all the scoring the Owls would get in the frame, and with Muhlenberg repeating their 25-point performance from the first quarter, the hosts took a 50-17 lead to the locker room at the half. Despite the break, the story stayed the same in the second half, as the Mules defense locked down and held the Owls to single digits in both the third and fourth quarters. Turnovers proved to be a big factor in tonight's game, as the Owls coughed up possession 32 times, leading to 37 of Muhlenberg's points. In the fourth quarter, Martin knocked down one more jumper on the night, and later converted a free throw, but that would be all the Owls would get, as Muhlenberg ultimately claimed the 87-27 win.

The busy week continues for the Owls on Thursday, as they finally get their first home game of the season. Bryn Mawr will play their second game of this three-game week at home on Thursday night, as the Owls welcome Haverford to town for a 7:00 PM tip in the Class of 1958 Gymnasium.