Levine big in crunch time as Fords down Diplomats

HAVERFORD, Pa. – Cam Baker's 19 points led the offense while James Levine helped seal the deal Saturday afternoon as the Haverford College men's basketball team upset Centennial Conference leader Franklin & Marshall College, 52-42, in league action on the Fords' home court at Gooding Arena.

Over the final four minutes of action, Levine pulled down four of the team's seven rebounds, drained four free throws that culminated a 6-for-6 day from the stripe, and added a steal as Haverford (6-11, 4-8 CC) clawed back from a one-point deficit to the visiting Diplomats (14-5, 9-3).

The Fords scored the game's final nine points to rally from the Diplomats' only second-half lead. There were seven ties and four lead changes during the opening 20 minutes before Haverford added one final lead change on a 7-2 run at the end of the half to enter the intermission with a 21-16 advantage.

That five-point halftime edge increased to seven on five different occasions in the second half before F&M fought back to take the lead -- their first since 6:43 remained in the first half -- on a Morgan Lee layup at the 4-minute mark.

Several non-scoring possessions later, Brett Cohen pulled down the rebound off a Lee miss and was fouled but missed the front end of a one-and-one opportunity. Levine ripped down the rebound, though, and passed out to the perimeter but the Fords weren't able to maintain possession. Fortunately, the Dips weren't able to gain control either and, after a scramble near the left sideline, Lucas Colombo came up with the ball for the Fords, drove the baseline and dished to Cohen on the opposite side where Cohen found the bottom of the net on a soft six-foot jumper to initiate the final 9-0 run.

Baker's driving jumper with 1:43 remaining increased the lead to three setting the table for Levine's four free throws sandwiched around a pair from Baker to ice the game and end a 10-game losing streak to the Diplomats.

Saturday's win was the first for the Fords over F&M since a 76-64 home victory late in the 2007-08 season. Haverford's winning point total was the lowest by a victorious team since the two institutions began competing within the Centennial in 1993, and the combined 94 points marked this game as the lowest-scoring affair since a 53-38 F&M win late in the 2005-06 schedule.

Baker added an assist, two steals and a block to his game-high 19 points for the Fords. Cohen notched his sixth double-double of the season scoring 10 points while pulling down a game-best 11 rebounds. Levine's 10 boards added to Cohen's double-digit total and helped the Fords out rebound the Diplomats by a 36-34 margin.

Hayk Gyokchyan led F&M in the offensive end with 13 points while Jon Salandra also scored in double-figures adding 10 points in defeat.

Haverford welcomes Moravian College to Gooding Arena on Monday night for the final non-conference game of the season before embarking on a six-game Centennial stretch to finish out the 2012-13 campaign.