LANCASTER, Pa. - The Haverford College men's basketball team (5-12, 3-7 CC) fell to Franklin & Marshall (9-8, 4-6 CC) on Saturday afternoon at the Mayser Center, dropping the matinee contest by a 71-61 final score. The Diplomats turned around an eight-point deficit at the halftime intermission with an 18-point edge in second-half scoring to defend home court and escape with the season sweep over the Fords.
Haverford held the lead for 30 of the 40 minutes of the contest, but the Diplomats took the lead for good with 6:56 to play in regulation as the Fords struggled from the field down the stretch.
The squad was paced by three scorers in double figures, as Josh Love poured in 13 points on 4-of-7 shooting while Ryan Trotter and Jackson Ryan each logged 10-point efforts. Charlie Mamlin connected on three first-half triples for nine points while Nicholas Stewart added eight points, including a pair of threes. Harry Johnson logged 10 rebounds, including nine on the defensive end.
The Fords looked extremely strong out of the gates, as Trotter connected from distance for an 11-4 advantage with 15:30 to play. Haverford eventually held that seven-point cushion twice in the following moments, at 17-10 and 20-13, following Love and Stewart connecting from deep. After Love responded to an F&M free-throw with a layup with 9:28 to play, the visitors were up by 10, and the Fords notched the largest lead of the contest (11) soon after as Mamlin put his team up 27-16 with 8:16 remaining in the first half.
After Love poured in a layup with just 6:16 to play, Haverford was held scoreless until Ryan hit a pair of free-throws with less than a minute left in the first half. The momentum had not quite shifted to the hosts, however, as F&M also mustered just four points in that quiet stretch for both offenses. The Diplomats opened the second half on a 4-0 run, but Haverford again quickly matched that with Love and Trotter each connecting in the first three minutes and change. A 6-0 Diplomats run then gave the Fords their first real scare since the early goings, as Josh Parra found the basket to trim the lead to just one at 34-33 with 15:13 to play.
Jaylen Green put his squad within one yet again with 14:02 to go, and later tied the score at 41-all with a layup that came with just under 13 minutes to play. Johnson had an immediate answer with a three-pointer, and Ryan converted from the free-throw line to put the Fords up by 5 with 11:51 remaining. A 7-2 F&M spurt tied the score at 48-48, but Ryan immediately answered from deep to put the Fords back up three.
The hosts took advantage of Haverford miscues to launch another 6-2 run from that point, with Omar Nichols putting F&M up 55-53 with 8:03 to go. Brandon Banadda tied the score at 55-55 on the next Haverford turn up the court, but that was the last time the hosts would not have the lead in the matchup, as they unleashed a sustained 14-2 run, including six points from the charity stripe, to wrestle control of the game with 1:14 remaining.
The Fords built their lead in the first half thanks in part to a hot shooting afternoon, and despite the second-half struggles, still shot at a better clip than the Diplomats from both the field (42.2 percent) and beyond the arc (9-for-19, 47.4 percent) in the contest. F&M staked its advantage as it held a slight 38-32 edge in rebounds, and limited turnovers, as the Fords committed 22 to just 12 for the hosts. A major advantage in the contest was 18 points off turnovers for the hosts.
Men's Basketball will now reconvene with a Centennial Conference foe on Thursday at Washington College. The contest in Chestertown, Md. is slated for an 8 p.m. start time, following a 6 p.m. women's contest between the two schools.