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Big First Quarter Sends Women's Basketball to Victory over Ursinus, 68-43

Nyla Robinson
Nyla Robinson
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HAVERFORD, Pa. - The Haverford College women's basketball team (4-1, 1-0 CC) opened up the Centennial Conference slate with a wire-to-wire, 68-43 victory over visiting Ursinus (2-3, 1-1 CC) inside Gooding '84 Arena on Saturday afternoon. Anna-Sophia Capizzi led all scorers with 23 points as Haverford opened the contest with a 29-point first quarter. The hot start set the tone for an offensive outburst that led to an eventual 25-point triumph over a squad that reached the Centennial semifinals a season ago. 

Caroline Andersen and Cortlyn Morris again formed a powerful tandem off the bench, with each contributing 10 points and five rebounds in under 20 minutes of playing time. Nyla Robinson proved to be a versatile asset with eight assists and seven rebounds. Aliyah Stephens had 12 points to pace the Bears. Lydia Konstanzer grabbed a game-best nine rebounds for Ursinus. 

Haverford began the contest on a methodical 20-4 run, with Capizzi draining an early three-pointer before a Hannah Zoll layup gave Haverford a 5-0 lead. Back-to-back layups from Morris and Andersen put an exclamation mark on a stretch that took any thoughts of early momentum from the visitors out of reach with only 3:43 remaining in the first. 

Capizzi cut to the basket to put Haverford up 22-6, and with the Fords full-court press frustrating Ursinus offensively in the early goings, a wave of reinforcements from the bench kept the tempo up for Haverford, allowing Morris to work her way in for a layup for a 24-8 lead with under three minutes in the stanza. Andersen got fouled while converting a layup at the buzzer, finishing an inbounds pass that came with just eight-tenths of a second remaining.  Andersen later completed the three-point play for a 29-11 lead entering the second. 

The Fords looked strong to begin the second, as the lead hit an even 20 following a Megan Furch jumper with 8:40 to go. Ursinus called a timeout searching for answers with 7:05 remaining in the half, and Gabby Downs connected on a trey to cut the lead to 15 at 37-22 with 5:18 to play. Lauren Howard answered back with a three-pointer of her own to extend Haverford's lead to 40-24 with just over three minutes left. 

At the intermission, Haverford held a 42-28 lead, and shot an impressive 60 percent from the field. Capizzi led all scorers with 11 at the break. 

Out of the halftime gates, Haverford charged to an 8-0 start, with Capizzi drilling a three-pointer after some purposeful passing for the Fords found the open shooter deep on the wing. Julianna Clark later connected on a trey, giving Haverford a 22-point cushion with 5:38 to play in the third. Capizzi again connected from downtown to push the lead to 23 with 4:05 remaining. 

The Fords were able to work in some young players in the final quarter, with the lead hitting its apex with 2:42 to go in the fourth quarter following another three-point play from Andersen. In total, Haverford knocked down six from beyond the arc, and converted eight of nine from the charity stripe. Haverford owned the rebounding advantage by a tally of 43-36. 

Haverford has now won five consecutive meetings against Ursinus. The Fords won their home opener for the third consecutive year. Women's Basketball is 30-7 at home since the start of the 2016-17 season. 

The Fords now return to action on Tuesday, November 26, hosting Catholic for a 6 p.m. tip-off inside Gooding Arena in the final women's basketball home contest of 2019. Haverford will be facing off with the Cardinals for the first time since 2006.