Women's Basketball Denies Swarthmore, Will Host Conference Tournament

Cortlyn Morris
Cortlyn Morris
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HAVERFORD, Pa. -  The Haverford College women's basketball team (21-3, 18-1 CC) stretched its program-best winning streak to 11 consecutive games with a 55-36 victory over rival Swarthmore (12-12, 9-10 CC) on Wednesday at Gooding '84 Arena. Haverford has now swept the season series from the Garnet for the fifth consecutive year. The victory, combined with a Gettysburg loss to Dickinson, has assured the Fords of the number one seed in the conference tournament and hosting privileges throughout championship weekend. The Fords will be hosting the conference tournament for the third time in program history and the second time in four years, as Haverford previously gained the top seed following the 2016-17 regular season. 

Haverford shook off a halftime deficit, holding the Garnet to just nine points in the second half with a stifling defensive stand. That lockdown second half effort included a fourth quarter that saw the Fords hold Swarthmore to just 7.7 percent from the field (1-of-13). Anna-Sophia Capizzi had a game-best 17 points, pacing three Haverford players in double figures. Julianna Clark added 16, while Megan Furch poured in 12. Furch and Cortlyn Morris each had seven rebounds, while Morris proved to be a force on the defensive end yet again, adding four blocks and four points to that tally.

The Garnet came into Gooding Arena with a quiet confidence, taking on the first place team in the Centennial with a solid first quarter. Clark and Furch contributed back-to-back buckets to put Haverford up 13-9 with 4:21 to go in the stanza, but Kim Kockenmeister connected from downtown to trim the lead to just one at 15-14 with 1:51 to play. Capizzi added a pair from the charity stripe, but Colleen Anderson connected from deep as the Garnet trailed by just two at the end of one.  A 7-0 run for the visitors gave Swarthmore a slight edge with 5:27 to go in the half, but jumpers from Capizzi and Morris restored the Haverford advantage at 25-24 with under four minutes to play. An Erin Cronin layup with 90 seconds remaining gave the Garnet the slight halftime edge. 

Out of the halftime break, Haverford looked determined to defend its home court with a relentless effort over the final 20 minutes of action. A 9-2 spurt straight away was keyed by a Capizzi trey, and suddenly the Fords were up by five. A later 7-2 stretch was capitalized by Clark's three with 2:12 remaining in the third, and Capizzi hit at the buzzer to put the Fords up by nine at 43-34. The fourth quarter saw Haverford close the contest on a 14-2 run, with the defense consistently altering the shot selections from the Garnet forwards and forcing tough shots on the wings. Morris was a pest in the closing moments, with four blocks in the final quarter. Caroline Andersen also contributed a pair off the bench as the reserve unit kept up the same defensive intensity. 

Nyla Robinson again played the role of distributor, dishing out six assists, adding two steals and three rebounds. The Fords went a perfect 6-for-6 from the free throw line and scored 17 points off Swarthmore turnovers. 

Haverford now wraps up the regular season with a trip to Baltimore on Saturday as the Fords will take on Johns Hopkins at 1 p.m. That contest will be followed by the Haverford men taking on the No. 10 Blue Jays at approximately 3 p.m. Women's basketball will open the Centennial Conference Tournament with semifinal action on Friday, February 28 at Gooding Arena. Times and further information are to be determined.