CHESTERTOWN, Md. - The Haverford College women's basketball team suffered its first loss in six games as the Fords were edged, 50-47, by host Washington College Saturday afternoon in Centennial Conference play.
Haverford (6-2, 5-1 CC) battled back from a double-digit deficit in the first half to have a chance to keep its spotless conference record intact but the Shorewomen (6-2, 4-2) held on for the victory.
Trailing 27-25 at intermission, the Fords scored nine of the first 12 points of the half to take a four-point lead at the 14-minute mark. Dominique Meeks and Hope Rainey fueled the run with five and four points, respectively.
After Washington took a slim 38-36 lead with 10:11 on the clock Jacquelyne Pizzuto answered with two free throws to tie the score for the sixth time on the afternoon. The defensive battle saw only one field goal scored by either squad over the next five minutes of action before Nina Voith's three-pointer with 4:20 remaining put Haverford on top once again, 43-42.
Voith came through from the free throw line at 3:41 to knot the score at 45-45 and Rachel Baskin duplicated the feat at the 46-second mark to account for the eighth and final tie of the contest, 47-47.
Latisha Pledger's free throw with 33 ticks on the clock put the Shorewomen ahead by one and Ashley Espinosa added two more from the line with six seconds left to stretch Washington's advantage to three.
Looking to force overtime, the Fords had one last possession with three seconds left but the Shorewomen's defense stood tall.
Haverford persevered to fight back from a 10-point deficit in the first 20 minutes. Two free throws by Claire Mattox at 2:35 of the opening half provided Washington with its largest lead of the game, 27-17, but the Fords charged back with the help of two three-pointers by Elizabeth Lynch and a layup by Voith to draw within two at the break. Haverford's defense held the Shorewomen without a field goal over the final seven minutes of the half to enable the rally.
Meeks, Pizzuto and Baskin each tallied eight points on the day to pace the Fords. Voith added seven points while Lynch and Rainey chipped in with six apiece.
Facing the top-rebounding squad in the conference, Haverford held Washington below its average of 51.5 per contest and edged the Shorewomen overall, 35-34. Meeks led the effort with eight rebounds while Pizzuto grabbed seven to go along with her three assists.
The Fords limited Washington to its lowest point total of the season and just a 28.8 percent showing from the field (15-of-52). Meeks, one of the conference leaders in steals, matched her season-high effort with five.
Espinosa took game-high honors in points and rebounds with 24 and 10, respectively, to lead the Shorewomen.
Haverford aims to get back to its winning ways on Wednesday when it hosts Delaware Valley College in a non-conference contest at Gooding Arena. The match-up against the Aggies begins at 7 p.m.