January 26, 2013

Fast start sends Haverford past Diplomats, 50-33

HAVERFORD, Pa. - The Haverford College women's basketball team used an impressive first half on both ends of the floor to run past visiting Franklin & Marshall College, 50-33, at Gooding Arena on Saturday afternoon in Centennial Conference action.

The Fords (11-6, 8-5 CC) set the tone from the opening tap as Rachel Baskin stole the ball from Alexa Barbush and Victoria Sobocinski nailed Haverford's first shot of the game from behind the arc. Haverford would move ahead, 10-6, at the 14:43 mark on the Fords' second three-pointer of the day. Kara Bacile answered with a jumper on the subsequent possession to bring the Diplomats (7-12, 4-10) within four, 10-6, but they would get no closer as Haverford erupted for the next 17 points of the contest. Nine minutes elapsed before F&M scored again as the Fords forced four turnovers and grabbed seven defensive rebounds in the stretch to take control of the contest at 27-6 with seven minutes remaining until the break. Calla Miller's three-point play at 3:49 gave Haverford its largest lead of the opening half, 30-8, before it settled for a 33-13 advantage at intermission.

Taking advantage of contributions from up and down the roster, the Fords went 5-for-9 from three-point distance and scored 16 points off turnovers in the initial 20 minutes. Haverford also shared the ball effectively as it tallied nine assists on 11 field goals. The Fords' defense was just as dominant as it forced 11 turnovers and pestered the Dips into 6-for-25 shooting (24 percent).

The determined Haverford squad never allowed F&M to make a run in the second half as another three-pointer by Sobocinski at the 13-minute mark provided the Fords with their largest lead of the afternoon, 45-21. Haverford's defense squelched thoughts of a Diplomats' rally by forcing 11 turnovers and limiting F&M to just four second-chance opportunities after halftime.

Baskin led the Fords with 13 points and seven rebounds. Sobocinski chipped in with nine points, five boards and three assists. Providing key minutes off the bench, Shannon Smith registered four points, six rebounds, one assist and two steals. The balanced team effort featured statistical contributions from all 10 Haverford players who saw extended minutes.

Kristina McCarthy paced F&M with 13 points and 13 rebounds. Holding the Dips to over 25 points below their average (59.7) and their lowest scoring output of the year, Haverford did a commendable job of making Barbush work hard for her 12 points. The leading scorer in the conference at 20.3 points per game, Barbush went 6-for-15 from the field.

The victory over the Dips gives the Fords their first sweep of the season series against F&M in program history.

Currently tied for third in the conference standings, Haverford welcomes Gettysburg College to Gooding Arena on Tuesday night in the second of three straight Centennial home contests. The match-up against the second-place Bullets begins at 7 p.m.