HAVERFORD, Pa. – The Haverford College men's basketball team did exactly what it needed to do and received a little help from its friends to clinch the fifth seed in the upcoming Centennial Conference tournament. The Fords downed Swarthmore, 75-52, Saturday at Gooding Arena while Muhlenberg College defeated Ursinus College, 82-53, in Allentown. The victory puts the Fords at 10-8 in the conference and one game ahead of Ursinus (9-9) for the final playoff spot.
Earlier in the day Gettysburg College beat McDaniel College, 66-54, to clinch the third seed while the Green Terror fell to fourth and host Haverford Wednesday evening in quarterfinal action.
The Fords placed four players in double-figures and were led by Sam Permutt's 17 point and 12 rebound performance in his last game at Gooding Arena. Cam Baker scored 16 points and just missed a double-double, grabbing nine rebounds. Ian Goldberg and Louis Cipriano both finished with 12 points. Goldberg buried four three-pointers on the day.
Making his first career start on Senior Day, Adrian Sills-Takyi provided the spark Haverford (13-11) was looking for. His streaking layup through the lane broke a 5-5 tie and nearly two minutes later he hit a jumper from the right wing. Although Jay Kober made a layup on Swarthmore's (6-19, 3-15 CC) next possession the Fords went on a 15-0 run that lasted 6:35 and put the hosts ahead, 24-7. Goldberg opened the run with a trey while Permutt and Baker combined for 12.
The Garnet cut HC's lead to 12 points on two occasions in the final four minutes, but another three-ball by Goldberg put the Fords back in front by 17. Swarthmore scored the final four points of the half to make the score 38-25 at the intermission.
In the second half Haverford's lead gradually increased as the half went on. The Fords shot a scolding 53 percent from the field and knocked down four three-pointers. Goldberg's trey with less than five minutes to go extended Haverford's lead to its largest of the game, 70-44. Sills-Takyi got in on the scoring again with a fast break layup on an assist from fellow senior Permutt with 3:26 remaining.
Kober was the only Swarthmore player in double-figures, scoring 13 points off the bench. Haverford out rebounded the Garnet, 41-33, and scored 36 points in the paint to just 20 for the visitors.
The victory gives Haverford a 6.5-1.5 lead in the 2010-11 Hood Trophy competition.
Haverford will be making its third conference playoff appearance in the last five seasons. The time of Wednesday's quarterfinal matchup at McDaniel will be announced Monday afternoon. Haverford and the Green Terror split the season series with the Fords winning, 77-68, at the Gill Center Feb. 5.
Prior to the game Lekan O-Nicholson, Permutt and Sills-Takyi were honored for playing their final home game at Gooding Arena and were sent out with a memorable victory.