HAVERFORD, Pa. – The Haverford College men's basketball team remained unbeaten on its home court in the early part of the season with a 91-79 victory on Saturday. The Fords (3-1) trailed by one going into the half, but outscored the Gryphons (3-2) by a 48-35 margin during the second half to secure the non-conference win.
First-year Nate Torres led all scorers with a game-high 24 points while Jonathan Lang added 22 points for the 20-plus point outing of his career. Joe Hartman added 16 points in the winning effort while Jesse Turkson finished with 10 points and seven rebounds. The Gryphons were led by their own quartet of double figure scorers, highlighted by Omar Jamaleddine's 22 points.
Haverford got out in front early with a three-pointer from Jonathan Lang which he later followed up with a steal that he took coast-to-coast as part of the Fords scoring seven of the game's first nine points. Nevertheless, the lead would change hands 10 times during the opening half as that five point lead was the largest Haverford held in the opening period. The Fords never trailed by more than a single possession all afternoon, but a pair of free throws in the final seconds of the opening half gave Sarah Lawrence a 44-43 edge heading into the locker room.
Sarah Lawrence scored the first two points of the second to reach their largest lead of the afternoon, but a jump shot from Torres followed by a triple gave Haverford a 48-46 lead and the Fords would not trail the rest of the afternoon. Leading 55-53 just over five minutes into the second half, the Fords got back-to-back threes from Hartman and Lang before Torres added two more free throws. That 8-0 run put the Fords up by double digits for the first time, 63-53.
The Fords' advantage shrunk to just four points following a 6-0 Gryphons' run. Seemingly unfazed, the Fords called for a timeout and Hartman answered that run with a basket right out of the break. Hartman later capped that 9-2 run with a layup following a steal from Joe Wujciak to push the lead back to double digits at 86-75. Wujciak finished with a career-high 10 assists as 25 of the team's 35 baskets came following a pass. Haverford finished the contest with its largest lead of the game as Lang knocked down one final trey before Turkson got in the paint to reach double figures on the team's final possession of the game.
Haverford shot 50% from the field in both halves, while holding the Gryphons under that mark in the second half. The Fords also limited Sarah Lawrence to just a 6-of-11 night at the free-throw line while Haverford was 11-for-13 at the charity stripe. The Fords also made the most of their extra offensive opportunities as they turned the ball over just nine times while coming up with 11 steals. With its lead for the vast majority of the second half, Haverford was ahead on the scoreboard for over 33 minutes of game action on Saturday afternoon.
Men's basketball will be back at home this coming Tuesday for an 8 p.m. start against Ursinus in the Centennial Conference opener. That contest will be preceded by the Haverford women battling Catholic in non-conference action at 6 p.m.