BRYN MAWR, Pa. - The Bryn Mawr basketball team put together one of their best all-around efforts of the season earlier Saturday afternoon against Franklin & Marshall. The Owls stayed neck-and-neck with the Diplomats through long stretches of the game, giving the visitors fits at times with their terrific ball movement and aggressive drives to the net. Ultimately, Franklin & Marshall were able to hang on for an 80-53 victory. However, that 53 points is the most scored by Bryn Mawr in a Centennial Conference game since 2010. Halena Martin led the way for the Owls with a 20-point effort, a new career high for the talented Bryn Mawr freshman. Erica Dwyer also had a very solid day for Bryn Mawr, putting up 16 points. The Diplomats were led by Haley Pilone, who posted 19 points and was 5-for-8 from beyond the arc.
Franklin & Marshall got out in front early with a 7-0 run out of the gate, but Bryn Mawr did not let that frustrate themselves. Martin would get the Owls on the board with a jumper from the top of the key, a sight that the Diplomats got used to seeing. She would replicate that effort on the Owls' next trip down the floor. Franklin & Marshall pulled back away briefly, but then Bryn Mawr put together a nice run to keep pace with the visitors. Dwyer got that started with a nice drive down the lane for a layup plus the foul. The sophomore would sink the free throw as well. Then a defensive stop by the Owls got the ball back in Dwyer's hands, and she fed Martin a great pass to earn the freshman another wide open jumper. Elizabeth Chan would close out the quarter for the Owls with a jumper of her own with 20 seconds left, keeping Bryn Mawr right with the Diplomats, who led 14-11 at the break.
The second quarter started a little rougher for Bryn Mawr, as the visitors would put together a 16-2 run in the opening five minutes of play to stretch out to a 30-13 advantage. Martin finally put a stop to that run with a great stretch of her own. After an offensive rebound from Ginneh Dickenson, Martin was able to work inside for a layup plus a foul. Once again, she completed the old fashioned three-point play. The next time down the floor, Martin took a feed from Erica Dwyer on the left baseline and drained a three-pointer. Later, Martin earned another trip to the free throw line, this time splitting the pair. Other Owls started to get in on the scoring action as well. Sydney Garner pulled down a strong defensive rebound and that led to her earning a pair of free throws on the other end, which she split as well. Then Dwyer hit a jumper after an offensive rebound. A little later, head coach Rebecca Tyler drew up a great play out of a timeout to get Dwyer open on the left wing for a deep three. Martin would cap off the scoring in the quarter for Bryn Mawr with another one of her trademark jump shots. It was an impressive offensive quarter for the Owls, who put up 17 points in the frame. Unfortunately, they allowed 31 in the same span, granting the Diplomats a 45-28 advantage at the halftime break.
Franklin & Marshall continued to stretch their lead out of halftime, ultimately going ahead 57-33. Cleo Elizabeth-Robertson did a nice job halting that run with a drive down the lane to earn a trip to the free throw line. The Owls sophomore hit both, and then on Bryn Mawr's next trip down the floor, Sydney Garner spun around her defender for an easy layup inside. Later, Garner would hit another layup, and Adriana Castilla-Hernandez was then able to turn an offensive rebound into points with a layup of her own. In the fourth quarter, Kara Breeden got on the board with a pair of free throws for her first points of the game. Garner would earn yet another layup, and then Bryn Mawr started to earn a bunch of trips to the free throw line. Ultimately, the Owls capped off the contest with a pair of freebies from Martin, closing out the 53-point effort for the Owls.
Bryn Mawr certainly gave the Diplomats a test in this one, thanks in part to their improved shooting and rebounding on the offensive end. It was the most points scored by the Owls in a Centennial Conference contest since 2010. The Owls shot almost the same percentage from the floor as the Diplomats did, and Bryn Mawr pulled down 11 offensive rebounds in total. However, it was the turnovers and offensive rebounds on the other end that seemed to do the Owls in. Franklin & Marshall grabbed 19 offensive boards of their own, and turned 22 Bryn Mawr turnovers into 27 points - the exact margin of victory that the Diplomats posted. If the Owls can keep limiting their turnovers while continuing to be more efficient on the offensive end, things are certainly trending in the right direction for Bryn Mawr.
The Owls will be back in action in the middle of next week on the road. Bryn Mawr kicks off a three-game road trip on Wednesday evening as they travel to Ursinus College. The Owls will take on the Bears at 7:00 PM in Collegeville that evening, looking for some revenge for a 39-64 loss earlier in the season.