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Men's Basketball Sails Past Washington College in Second Half, 77-57

Jonathan Lang
Jonathan Lang
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HAVERFORD, Pa. – The Haverford College men's basketball team continued its home dominance over Washington College with a 77-57 victory over the Shoremen on Wednesday evening. The win was the Fords' fifth straight inside Gooding Arena against WAC. Haverford has won 16 of the last 17 overall home meetings against the Shoremen dating back to November of 2004.

In the process, Haverford matched its totals for overall victories and Centennial Conference victories from a season ago with nine more contests yet to be played in the regular season. Tonight's victory also avenged a 59-54 WAC victory from earlier in December when these teams met in Chestertown.

After a tight opening half, the Fords outscored the visitors 52-35 over the final 20 minutes. Joe Scibelli finished with his 10th double-double this season and 28th overall of his career. He scored 17 of his game-high 23 points in the second half and finished the contest with 11 rebounds. Jonathan Lang scored all of his 15 points in the second half to also bolster the offense, while Jesse Turkson just missed a double-double with 12 points and eight rebounds. Haverford's defensive pressure held WAC to under 30 percent shooting from the field, including just 11.8 percent from beyond the arc.

The back-and-forth opening half saw the teams tied on five occasions while the lead changed hands twice. Haverford had the largest of the opening half at five when Turkson knocked down a pair of shots in the paint just before the break. The Shoremen beat the buzzer to end the period, but Haverford still maintained a 25-22 edge in the defensive battle as the teams headed to the locker rooms.

Washington College started quickly in the second half by scoring 10 of the first 12 points to take its largest lead of the night at 32-27 just under three minutes into the second. However, Haverford head coach Patrick Doherty quickly caught his team's attention with a timeout that ultimately led to a huge 24-5 run. That swing in momentum allowed Haverford to open a 51-37 lead with 10:48 remaining in regulation. Lang knocked down a pair of triples and had 10 of the Fords' points during that stretch while Scibelli accounted for eight more points.

Haverford led by double digits the rest of the way and stretched its lead to as many as 27 points with a Joe Wujciak jumper setting the score at 73-46 with 4:08 to play. The Fords eventually cruised to the 20 point conference victory, 77-57. After the defensive battle to start the game, Haverford shot over 55 percent in the second half to break the game open. That included a 4-of-7 mark from beyond the arc. Haverford also made 22 trips to the charity stripe and knocked down 18 of those attempts, highlighted by Scibelli (7-for-7) and Lang (4-for-4) not missing at the line all evening.

Crisp passing was also key as the Fords assisted on 18 of the team's 26 made baskets. Kahlil Garnes dished out a team-high five helpers, while Joe Hartman also tallied four assists and did not commit any turnovers in the process. Haverford held a 45-42 edge on the glass and also rejected nine Shoremen shots on the defensive end. Those nine blocks tied for the fifth highest single-game total in school history.

With a pair of 20-plus point victories over its last three games, men's basketball will look to carry that momentum onto the road as the team travels to Franklin & Marshall this Saturday for a 3 p.m. tip. That contest will be preceded by the women's game against the Diplomats at 1 p.m. Haverford will be looking to get revenge for the second straight contest as the Diplomats pulled out a 63-60 victory inside Gooding Arena when these teams met back in December.