January 12, 2013

Time runs out on Haverford rally as Blue Jays edge Fords, 52-46

BALTIMORE - A spirited late-game rally came up short as the Haverford College women's basketball team fell to host Johns Hopkins University, 52-46, in Centennial Conference action on Saturday afternoon at Goldfarb Gymnasium.

Trailing by nine with just under three minutes remaining in the game, the Fords (9-4, 6-3 CC) moved within six, 46-40, on Nina Voith's three-pointer at 2:27. Voith continued to be a factor as her tough defense on Stacey Fairey drew an offensive foul a minute later which turned into two points for Haverford when Jacquelyne Pizzuto drained a jumper at 1:27 to further cut the Blue Jays' advantage. Fairey's jumper with 55 ticks on the clock disrupted the Fords' surge but Haverford fought on and a runner from Rachel Baskin with 40 seconds remaining again brought the Fords within striking distance at 48-44.

Victoria Sobocinski's steal on Johns Hopkin's ensuing possession continued the energetic comeback as Baskin converted a tough runner in the lane at the 22-second mark to draw Haverford within two, 48-46. The Fords would get no closer, however, as the Blue Jays (7-8, 5-5) went 4-of-4 from the free throw line in the final 17 seconds to claim the victory.

Johns Hopkins took advantage of a cold start from the field by Haverford in the initial 10 minutes of the contest as the Blue Jays pushed out to an 18-5 advantage. Continuing to work hard on the defensive end, the Fords held Johns Hopkins to just two field goals over the final seven minutes of the half to fight back within nine, 24-15, at intermission.

Haverford hoped to once again put the clamps on the Blue Jays' offense in the second half as it did in the initial meeting of the season between the two clubs when Johns Hopkins managed just nine points over the final 20 minutes.

Dominique Meeks helped the Fords get off to a positive start coming out of the break as she opened the second-half scoring with her first points from the field to cut the Haverford deficit to seven. The Fords' defense then dug down and forced six Blue Jays' turnovers in the next six minutes. Despite Haverford's best effort, Johns Hopkins moved out to a 12-point advantage, 42-30, on Alex Vassila's layup at 5:37. Pizzuto responded with a three-pointer and the resilient Fords scored seven of the next nine to set-up the tightly-contested final minutes.

Taking game-high scoring honors, Voith finished with a season-high 13 points. Pizzuto chipped in with 12 points including two three-pointers. Voith and Meeks tallied eight rebounds apiece to lead the Fords' effort on the glass while Baskin contributed four of Haverford's eight assists on the afternoon.

Maggie Fruehan paced the Blue Jays with 12 points while Vassila and Fairey added 10 points each. Vassila was also the high rebounder in the game with 13.

The treacherous Centennial slate continues for the Fords as they look to get back on the winning track when they welcome Muhlenberg College to Gooding Arena on Thursday night. The contest against the Mules tips off at 7 p.m.