HAVERFORD, Pa. – Seniors Cam Baker (pictured, left) and Eli Schwarz (right), along with student assistant coach Stephen Lazzaro '13 (center), took to the court at Gooding Arena one final time Saturday afternoon, but the dream end to a career wasn't to be for the trio as visiting Swarthmore College defeated the Fords, 76-60, in Centennial Conference men's basketball action.
Both teams closed out their seasons with Saturday's game, Haverford falling to 7-17 overall and 5-13 within the league, while Swarthmore improved to 7-18 and 6-12. The Garnet victory allows Swarthmore to pull even with Haverford, 4.0-4.0, in the annual Hood Trophy competition between the two schools.
Saturday's tilt kicked off with a brief ceremony for the three seniors. Baker, in last season's regular-season finale, became the 14th player in program history to score 1,000 points and closes out his career with 1,374 which is sixth-most on the all-time list. Schwarz saved his best for last as he posted single-season career bests in nearly every statistical category. On the sidelines, Lazzaro, a highly-recruited high school player who had to give up the game for medical reasons, was an integral part of the coaching staff during his four years at Haverford.
Swarthmore led Saturday's game from wire to wire but had to withstand a furious second-half rally from the Fords who had trailed by 16 at the half.
Five minutes after the intermission the Garnet sat on a 17-point cushion, 50-33, but a 7-0 spurt from the Fords brought the margin down to 10.
Following a free throw from Baker, Brett Cohen registered a steal in the Garnet's offensive end and then finished the transition play with a layup after an assist from Louis Cipriano. Swarthmore's Jordan Federe traveled with the next possession giving the ball right back to the Fords and Cohen, again, finished off the play with a layup, this time getting the assist from Anthony Reyes.
The visitors briefly arrested Haverford's momentum, but the Fords battled back, pulling within seven on James Levine's power move under the basket at the 8:31 mark. A few traded-off baskets later left Haverford down by just eight, 60-52, following a driving layup by Baker off a quick feed from Cohen in the high post.
That would be as close as the Fords would get for the rest of the game as Swarthmore was solid from the free throw line with Haverford fouling to try to save time and get back in the game.
The Fords made only one fewer basket, a three-pointer, than did Swarthmore on the afternoon -- each hitting 19 field goals from inside the three-point arc -- but the Garnet went to the foul line 16 more times and made 20 shots compared to the 7-of-15 afternoon by the Fords from the stripe.
Baker finished with a team-high 19 points while Cohen added 15 and Schwarz chipped in with 13 points to tie his season-best outing. Cohen pulled down a team-best nine rebounds but Swarthmore owned the advantage on the glass coming away with 44 boards to Haverford's 31.
Will Gates, in his final collegiate game, led the Garnet with 25 points. Jay Kober and Karl Barkley also reached double-digits in the offensive end.