BRYN MAWR, Pa. - The Bryn Mawr basketball team put together an excellent first half earlier Wednesday night in their game against Penn State Brandywine. Playing in their final home contest of the semester, the Owls flew out to a 23-17 lead by halftime. That effort was led by 13 points from Meagan Murray-Bruce, who was virtually unstoppable in the post in the first half. Sydney Collins went 3-for-3 in the first half as well for Bryn Mawr, and the Owls held Penn State Brandywine to just 5-for-32 from the floor across the first two quarters. However, the visitors battled back in the second half, exploding for 30 points and holding the Owls to just 13 to ultimately pull away to a 47-36 win on the night. The Nittany Lions were led by 14 points from Amanda Floyd.
The two sides struggled to break the seal in the early going, but Halena Martin got the Owls on the board first with a jumper at the 7:23 mark. The Nittany Lions quickly jumped in front on a three-ball from Amanda Floyd on the next possession, and then two free throws from the visitors extended their lead. Bryn Mawr kept things close throughout the rest of the first quarter however. Sydney Collins got the Owls' next two baskets, and then Meagan Murray-Bruce hit two of her own to make it an 11-10 game in favor of Brandywine at the end of the first quarter.
Bryn Mawr continued to go to the post in the second frame, and they continued to find success. Murray-Bruce in particular proved unstoppable at times in the period. The senior got Bryn Mawr's first bucket of the quarter on a fantastic drive-and-dish by Odinaka Oranekwu. After an empty possession, Murray-Bruce once again converted an easy basket down low thanks to a feed from Martin this time. Later, Martin would hit a jumper of her own on another assist from Oranekwu, and then Collins hit a free throw line jumper to give the Owls an 18-11 lead. Murray-Bruce hit another layup a few minutes later, and then on the next possession, she battled through contact for another layup and sank the ensuing free throw as well. That final point gave Bryn Mawr a 23-17 lead at the break, with Murray-Bruce nearly having recorded a double-double (13 points, eight rebounds) in the first half alone.
The Owls would stretch their lead out to eight points, the largest of the game, with another basket from Murray-Bruce just 15 seconds into the third quarter. However, from there, things began to unravel for Bryn Mawr. Penn State Brandywine ran off eight straight points to tie the game right back up midway through the quarter. Martin hit another jump shot a little later to help Bryn Mawr regain the lead, but that advantage was only temporary. A three-ball from Dairayonna Stewart gave the visitors the lead for the first time since early in the second quarter, and they would not relinquish it from there. Brandywine held the Owls to just nine more points over the rest of the game, as Bryn Mawr shot just 6-for-28 from the floor in the second half.
For Murray-Bruce, tonight's double-double was the second of the season. The 15 points are a new career high for the California native, who has now topped 100 career points with tonight's performance.
Despite the tough result, the Owls will be right back in action Saturday with another shot to pick up a win. Bryn Mawr will hit the road to central Pennsylvania on Saturday, as the Owls will travel to Penn College for another non-conference contest. Gametime on Saturday is set for 2:00 PM.