November 16, 2012

Baker's jumper with 16 seconds left lifts Fords

HAVERFORD, Pa. – All it took was one last shot, and Cam Baker's jumper with 16 ticks left delivered for Haverford College's men's basketball team as the Fords downed visiting Connecticut College, 60-59, in non-conference action on the opening night of the 21st annual Equinox Classic.

Trailing from the last minute of the opening half, Haverford (1-0) finally broke on top using Baker's jumper straight out from the basket and a step inside the three-point arc. Conn. College drove the length of the court and got off a pair of in-close shots in the final seconds but both rolled off the rim.

Baker finished with a game-high 23 points while teammate Brett Cohen added 19 points and pulled down a team-high seven rebounds. The pair were the only two Fords in double-figures. John Bullitt led Conn. with 16 points to lead a trio of Camels into double-digit scoring.

Friday night's opening 20 minutes at Gooding Arena were much more back-and-forth than the second as the first half saw nine lead changes along with three ties.

Haverford broke in front early with Louis Cipriano getting the team rolling on a three-pointer from the left corner to open the scoring. The Camels gained a brief advantage at 6-5 but a Cohen layup pushed the Fords back in front for a lead they would maintain for the next 10 minutes.

Connecticut pulled within one at 19-18 on a pair of free throws at the 9:29 mark, but both teams would suffer dry spells with the next point not changing the scoreboard until a pair of Bullitt free throws at 5:26 which gave the Camels only their second lead of the game up to that point.

A hectic three minutes closed out the half as the lead changed hands three times until the Camels broke away for a seven-point halftime edge on a fast break layup with 36 seconds left and an almost half-court heave that beat the buzzer.

Haverford played a more consistent half over the final 20 minutes never allowing the Camels to increase their lead larger than the halftime advantage and pulling to within one of the visitors nine times -- with three ties -- until Baker wrested the lead, and victory, away.

The opening game Friday at Gooding featured Swarthmore College and Roanake College with the outcome almost as exciting as game two. The Garnet pulled within a point, 82-81, of Roanoke with 1:30 to play but the Maroon held off the Classic's other host team and finished with an 87-82 win.

The Classic moves to Swarthmore for Saturday's action with the Fords and Roanoke tipping off at 1 p.m. in Tarble Pavilion, and the Garnet and Camels squaring off in the second game.