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Strong First Half Propels Bears Past Bryn Mawr

Lipi Paladugu takes on Haverford in the fall of 2018

COLLEGEVILLE, Pa. - The Bryn Mawr basketball team was back in action earlier Tuesday night, as the Owls made the short trip over to Ursinus College for a Centennial Conference battle. Bryn Mawr battled hard throughout the contest, but Ursinus showcased why they are one of the top teams in the conference this season, as the Bears used a fast start to ultimately pull away to a 72-42 win. Lipi Paladugu led the Owls with eight points on the night. Bryn Mawr did a great job spreading the ball around, as all but one player scored for the Owls in the game. Ursinus was led by a 14-point performance from Aliyah Stephens.

The hosts jumped out to a fast lead in this one, scoring the first four baskets of the game, plus a free throw. Laya Paladugu got the Owls on the board just under four minutes into the game with a deep triple, but Ursinus answered with a three-pointer of their own and ultimately ran up a 16-3 lead. Brendan Harrison put a stop to that with a nice layup, and then Odinaka Oranekwu got a layup of her own after a strong defensive rebound from Sydney Garner. Harrison tallied another bucket later on, and then Garner knocked down a pair of free throws, but by the end of the quarter Ursinus held a 23-11 advantage.

Garner stayed hot at the line for the Owls, draining another pair of free throws to open the second quarter. Cleo Elizabeth-Robertson and Laya and Lipi Paladugu all hit layups over the middle part of the quarter to help the Owls' cause as well. Elizabeth-Robertson and Lipi Paladugu would each split free throws before the frame ended, but Ursinus had not slowed down the whole way, and ultimately the Bears took a 46-21 advantage to the break at the half.

The third quarter was a much better performance from the Owls perspective, as Bryn Mawr played solid on both ends to outscore Ursinus 13-11 in the frame. The Bears scored the first basket of that period, but Halena Martin got a deep three a minute later to get the Owls going. Elizabeth Chan followed that with a steal and fastbreak layup on Ursinus' ensuing possession. Bryn Mawr also performed well at the line, with Elizabeth-Robertson, Laya Paladugu, and Brendan Harrison each going a perfect two-for-two from the free throw stripe. Another basket from Martin helped matters as well, and the Owls headed into the final quarter with a bit of momentum. Lipi Paladugu helped continue that, as she buried a deep three in the opening seconds of the final frame to get the Owls within 20. Several more trips to the free throw line helped, as did another layup from Lipi Paladugu. Unfortunately, there simply wasn't enough time to continue the comeback, and in the end, Ursinus ended up pulling away to their 72-42 win.

There won't be much rest for the Owls this week, as they get right back in action on Thursday evening. Bryn Mawr will travel down to Chestertown, Maryland that night for an always entertaining battle against the Shorewomen of Washington College. Gametime on Thursday is set for 8:00 PM.