HAVERFORD, Pa. – The Haverford College men's basketball team raced out to a 50-28 halftime lead before settling in for an 86-75 Centennial Conference victory against Dickinson on Saturday afternoon. With today's victory, the Fords (14-5, 9-3 CC) swept the season series against the Red Devils for the first time since the 2009-10 season. Haverford has now won both the home and road contests against all three teams it has seen twice so far in Centennial Conference play.
Five players in double figures paced the Fords as Jack Cork, Jesse Turkson, and Nate Torres each tied for the team high with 14 points. Josh Love and Joe Wujciak both added 10 points in the winning effort as the Fords shot 66.7% from the field during the opening half and over 50% for the contest. The visiting Red Devils came back late in the contest behind a 59.1% shooting effort from the field, coupled with a 15-of-18 half at the line. Bryce Allen headlined that comeback effort as he scored 22 of his team-leading 24 points during the final 20 minutes of play.
The two sides traded the lead back and forth six times in the opening minutes before finding themselves knotted at 10-all just over four minutes into the conference contest. Nevertheless, Haverford was 6-of-12 from beyond the arc in the opening half and used back-to-back three-pointers from Jonathan Lang and Love to give the Fords a lead they would not relinquish for the rest of the contest. Ryan Trotter also knocked down a three-pointer as the Fords continued to push the pace before an old-fashioned three-point play from Turkson gave the hosts a double-digit lead, 23-12, with 11:37 remaining in the half.
Dickinson cut the lead down to double digits just over three minutes later, but three-point shooting was once again key for the Fords as Wujciak knocked down a triple to key an 11-1 run which saw Haverford push its lead to a 19-point advantage, 38-19, with just under five minutes to play. Haverford held its largest lead of the half at 22 points. An offensive rebound from Cork gave the Fords a 48-26 lead and helped the Fords hold a 12-2 advantage in second chance points throughout the contest. Haverford matched that lead right before the break as Cork grabbed a defensive rebound and found Lang on an outlet pass to set the score at 50-28 heading into the break.
Haverford held its largest lead of the contest just over two minutes into the second half as a pair of free throws from Cork gave the hosts a 54-31 advantage. The Fords were still holding a 20-plus point lead following Love's jumper to give his side a 65-43 lead with 12:24 remaining in regulation. However, the Red Devils were not going to go down without a fight as they scored 12 of the next 14 points to trim the lead to 67-54 with less than 10 minutes to play. Joe Hartman snapped Haverford's scoreless streak with a three-pointer on the ensuing possession and the Fords lead remained in double digits until there was less than five minutes to go in the contest.
A pair of free throws from Allen got the Red Devils within nine points during the final minutes. However, the visitors could not come any closer than eight points as Allen's three-pointer made the score 81-73 with 1:42 left on the game clock. Haverford prevented the game from getting any closer as it held the Red Devils without a field goal during the remaining time and got key free throws from Turkson and Torres to lock down the 86-75 triumph.
Haverford finished the afternoon with assists on 23 of the team's 30 baskets as five different players had at least three assists. Jackson Ryan, Cork, and Wujciak each tallied four dimes to lead the Fords. Haverford also held a sizeable 39-26 advantage on the boards with Turkson and Cork pulling down eight and six rebounds, respectively.
Today's win improved the Fords record to 10-1 on their home court, marking the most home victories for the Fords in program history. Now the Fords will have to head out on the road for their next three games. Up first will be a trip to Chestertown next Thursday, February 6 as the Fords and Shoremen are set to square off for an 8 p.m. scheduled tip.