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Men's Basketball Tripped Up by Immaculata, 86-72

Joe Wujciak
Joe Wujciak

IMMACULATA, Pa. – The Haverford College men's basketball team saw its seven-game winning streak come to an end on Monday evening during the non-conference finale as the Fords (9-2) fell at Immaculata by an 86-72 score. The Fords led for a majority of the night and were up by as many as 18 points midway through the opening half, but a persistent Mighty Macs team was able to steadily dig out of that early hole before overtaking Haverford in the final minutes of the contest.

Balanced scoring was once again the theme for the visiting Fords as Joe Wujciak and Joe Hartman led Haverford with 13 and 12 points, respectively. Jesse Turkson collected another double-double with 11 points and 14 rebounds while Jackson Ryan scored nine points. Nevertheless, that multi-faceted attack was not enough to overcome monster 25 point efforts from Immaculata's Brandon McCullough and Jordan Ambrose.

Haverford got the opening points of the contest and was front-running for much of the evening. Holding an early 7-5 advantage, the Fords began to put some distance on the Mighty Macs with a 15-0 run that featured triples from Hartman, Michael Wiper, and Wujciak to set the score at 20-5 just over seven minutes into the contest. The Fords connected on 8 of their 17 attempts from beyond the arc over the first 20 minutes to help them out to the early advantage.

Haverford held its largest lead of the night, 18 points, on three separate occasions. Triples from Ryan and Grayson Roth marked those final two occurrences as Roth knocked down a three-pointer to set the score at 44-26 with just 2:08 remaining in the opening half. Just before the break, Immaculata began to show signs of a team that was heating up as the Mighty Macs closed the half on an 8-0 run of their own as the Fords took a 44-34 lead into the locker room.

Even the halftime break didn't seem to stop the momentum on the home side as the Mighty Macs scored 10 of the first 12 points in the second half to set the score at 46-all with 17:40 remaining in regulation time. Nevertheless, Haverford did not surrender the lead for the time being as the Fords got an and-one from Turkson to reclaim the lead while Wujciak knocked down another three-point attempt on the ensuing possession.

Immaculata took its first lead of the night with 13:50 to play in regulation as a layup set the score at 53-52. The teams would trade the lead back and forth three different times as Jack Cork countered with a layup of his own. However, that basket was the only Haverford field goal for over six minutes until Cork once again went to work in the paint. The Fords' strong defensive effort kept them in the game at 61-59 with 7:16 remaining. Two more points in the paint from Turkson knotted the game at 61-all and the teams were also deadlocked at 66-all with 4:42 remaining after Nate Torres scored two of his four points during his return to the lineup.

The Mighty Macs created their largest lead of the night in the final two minutes as a 9-0 run put the hosts up 82-69 with 38 seconds remaining in regulation. Immaculata shot 48.5% from the field during the second half of its comeback effort, but also did a lot of damage at the free throw line. The Mighty Macs were 27-of-33 from the charity stripe while the Fords made just 19 trips to the line, resulting in 14 points. The teams finished with similar shooting marks from the field. Immaculata also made the most of 16 offensive rebounds as it held a 20-7 advantage in second chance points.

Men's basketball will now focus solely on Centennial Conference action the rest of the season as the conference slate resumes Thursday with a home date at 8 p.m. against Washington College. The Fords are currently tied for first place with No. 1 Swarthmore as those are the only two remaining unbeaten teams in Centennial Conference play. Haverford will also welcome Gettysburg to Gooding Arena this Saturday to cap its three-game week.