Clutch night from Cipriano helps tame Cougars

HAVERFORD, Pa. – Senior guard Louis Cipriano drained a career-high 24 points to help home-standing Haverford College down Misericordia University, 67-65, in a non-conference men's basketball battle Thursday night on the floor of Gooding Arena.

Cipriano came up big for Haverford (2-1) several times in the second half to keep the Cougars (2-2), who shot 70 percent from the floor over the final 20 minutes, at bay.

The Fords entered the second half with a 30-25 lead and maintained an advantage through the first five minutes of action. A three-pointer from Misericordia's Matt Greene at the 14:46 mark pulled the visitors into a tie at 36-36, the first deadlock since the opening tip.

Over the course of the remaining minutes the lead would change hands eight times and would sit even on six occasions.

The first bomb from Cipriano came with the score knotted at 42-42. His three-pointer put Haverford ahead with 11:50 to play, but Misericordia refused to allow the Fords to pull away.

Tied at 54-54 with five minutes remaining, Cipriano drained another three-pointer to give the Fords a lead they -- this time -- wouldn't relinquish.

A Cipriano layup with 81 seconds left pushed Haverford ahead by what seemed like a safe five-point lead, but Misericordia notched a layup from Joe Busacca on its next time down the court to make the game a one-possession contest.

Cipriano hit a pair of free throws with 21 ticks remaining to extend Haverford back to a five-point lead, however Busacca cut it back to three with a layup. Haverford's James Levine hit just the front end of a two-shot appearance at the foul line with five seconds to go with the Cougars snaring the rebound and racing downcourt for a Busacca trey with 2.1 seconds on the clock.

Misericordia fouled Levine on the in-bounds play sending the junior forward to the free throw line again. Levine missed his first but drilled his second to give the Fords a two-point lead, and a desperation shot from the Cougars at the buzzer failed to find its mark allowing Haverford to escape with the win.

Senior Brett Cohen also reached double-figures in scoring for Haverford with 11 points while Lucas Colombo pulled down a game-high 10 rebounds for the Fords who, otherwise, were out rebounded by Misericordia, 33-26.

Busacca, with 13 points, and Cael Evans' 11 points led the Cougars' scoring in the loss.

The Fords open their Centennial Conference slate with their next game, Saturday, when they travel to Carlisle, Pa., to take on Dickinson College in a 2 p.m. match-up.