Fords stun Dickinson with 2nd-half explosion

HAVERFORD, Pa. – A four-point halftime deficit was erased by a 53-point second half to lead Haverford College's men's basketball team to a 77-60 Centennial Conference victory over the visiting Red Devils from Dickinson College on Saturday afternoon at Gooding Arena. Five players scored in double-figures for the Fords led by Gibby Graves' 19 points.

Haverford (5-6, 3-3 Centennial) battled with the Red Devils (9-4, 4-2), who entered the game second in the league standings, throughout a physical first half during which the teams combined to shoot just 37 percent from the field and only 4-of-9 from the foul line. Eventually, Dickinson was able to forge a narrow 28-24 advantage to take into the intermission.

The second 20 minutes of action was all Fords, though, as the home team hit 5-of-9 from beyond the arc on the way to a 59 percent half from the floor. Three of the Fords' double-digit scorers -- Graves, Brett Cohen and Louis Cipriano -- completed that feat during second-half action alone.

Dickinson increased its four-point halftime lead to 10 approaching the 15-minute mark of the second stanza but an Eli Schwarz 3-pointer trimmed the spread to seven with 15:01 to play, and a pair of Cipriano treys in the next minute and a half took advantage of Dickinson misses to cut the deficit to just one, 38-37, at the 13:40 mark.

Following a layup by Dickinson's Steve Collins that pushed the advantage back to three, Schwarz was able to pull the Fords even their next time down the floor with another 3-pointer.

One minute later Schwarz registered a steal near the baseline and dealt a short pass to Graves who weaved his way down court on a fast break, pulled up just shy of the bucket and drained a short jumper for the lead. Fouled on his shot, Graves converted the free throw to give the Fords a 43-40 lead and Haverford never looked back as it out scored the Red Devils by a 34-20 margin over the final 11 minutes.

The Fords were a pesky bunch all afternoon forcing 18 Dickinson turnovers, registering 11 steals and rolling to 24 points off Red Devil miscues. In contrast, the visitors finished with just three steals and six points off Haverford turnovers.

Haverford entered the game averaging 28 rebounds per outing but Saturday it pulled down 36 and won the battle off the glass as Dickinson accumulated three fewer on the afternoon.

Graves' 19 points led the Fords' offense but Cohen added 18, Cipriano finished with 15, Lucas Colombo chipped in with 11 and Schwarz had 10. Dickinson's Gerry Wixted finished near his season average, scoring a game-high 20 in the loss.

Cohen and James Levine spurred Haverford off the rim with eight rebounds apiece, tying the Red Devils' Chris Cox for game-high honors.

The Fords continue with conference play in their next outing, welcoming McDaniel College to Gooding Arena on Thursday, Jan. 10 for a 7 p.m. league game.