COLLEGEVILLE, Pa. – A dominant third quarter and a bounty of balanced scoring propelled the Ursinus College women's basketball team past visiting Bryn Mawr, 71-46, in Centennial Conference action Wednesday.
Sophomore Kaci McNeave matched her career high with 13 points on 5-of-6 shooting for Ursinus (8-8, 6-5), which rattled off the first 13 points of the second half to distance itself from the Owls (1-14, 0-12) and improve to 50-0 in the all-time series. Sophomore Brielle Clarke recorded a career-best 11 points, senior Libby Lannon had ten points and a season-high seven assists, and junior Rachel Guy collected ten of her own to hit double figures for the third straight game.
Freshman Toni Suler was a terror on the defensive end, racking up seven of her school-record eight blocks in the first half and snagging seven rebounds. Fellow rookie Lydia Konstanzer finished with eight points and seven rebounds, freshman Krista Schneider netted a career-high seven markers and was matched by classmate Marisa DiLeo, and first-year Francesca Bogiatzis scored the first points of her collegiate career.
Ursinus shot a season-high 44.3 percent (27 of 61) and never trailed the Owls, who got 16 points from Halena Martin. The Bears, who assisted on 19 of their 27 made baskets, got plenty of balance on the boards as well, Bogiatzis pulling down six and freshman Paulina Boyer hauling in five.
Suler had seven blocks in the first half alone, already a school record and well within range of the conference record of ten. Remarkably, four of Suler's swats came on consecutive possessions late in the half as the Owls continued to go inside to no avail.
The Owls were as close as 30-23 with 4:19 to go before intermission, but McNeave and Schneider buried 3-pointers on back-to-back trips and Guy lobbed a pass to Suler for an easy lay-up and a rapid-fire 8-0 spurt. Bryn Mawr tallied the last four points of the period to stay within shouting distance at 38-27.
Lannon got right to work at the outset of the second half, netting three straight baskets after going scoreless in the first frame to help the Bears open up a 44-27 lead at the 8:04 mark of the third. After a Stuler steal, the senior drove the baseline and kicked out to fellow co-captain Guy for a corner trey and a 20-point bulge.
Bryn Mawr briefly stopped the bleeding, but McNeave capped another run with a jumper to extend the lead out to 56-30 late in the third. After outscoring the Owls, 20-5, in the period, the margin grew as large as 31 with 4:00 to play.
McNeave nailed all three of her 3-point attempts to reach double digits in scoring for the first time in ten contests. Clarke was 5 for 8 from the floor, and Guy finished 3 for 5 with a made 3-pointer. Lannon went 4 for 4 at the line and added four steals to her strong offensive performance. The Bears held Bryn Mawr to just 27.4 percent from the field (17 for 62), including a 1-for-12 showing in the third quarter.
The women's basketball team looks to break an 11-game streak of alternating wins and losses with a trip to McDaniel on Saturday.