February 6, 2013

Fords held off by Ursinus

HAVERFORD, Pa. - The Haverford College women's basketball team battled back from a second-half deficit but could not overcome visiting Ursinus College on Wednesday night as the Fords fell to the Bears, 52-50, in Centennial Conference action.

Trailing by eight with just under 10 minutes remaining, Haverford (14-8, 11-7 CC) scored 12 of the next 16 points to knot the game at 43-43 at the four-minute mark. Jacquelyne Pizzuto provided the tying bucket on a three-pointer from the top of the key off a nice look from Calla Miller.

After the two teams traded buckets to account for the eighth tie of the night, the Bears (11-11, 8-9) crept ahead once more as they went 5-for-6 from the free throw line to take a 50-45 lead with 51 ticks left on the clock. The resilient Fords did not go away however as Nina Voith converted a turn-around jumper in the lane to pull Haverford within three, 50-47. Amber Yacenda's foul shot stretched the advantage to four with 22 seconds left but the Fords grabbed the rebound on Yacenda's second offering from the free throw line. Pushing the ball down the floor, Rachel Baskin converted a tough layup and an ensuing foul shot to bring Haverford within one with 13 seconds to go but Alyssa Polimeni added another free throw for Ursinus with seven seconds remaining to put the Bears up two, 52-50. A running attempt at a desperation three-pointer by Baskin at the buzzer came up short as the Fords fell at home for just the second time this season.

The first half was tightly contested from the beginning as there were five ties and four lead changes in the opening 20 minutes. After Ursinus went ahead 13-10 on a Caroline Shimrock three-pointer at 7:33, Haverford struck right back with a long-range bomb from Elizabeth Lynch. Lynch's three-pointer would tie the score for the final time in the first half as the Fords' defense limited the Bears to just six more points over the last seven minutes of the half. Forcing Ursinus into three turnovers in its last four possessions before intermission, Haverford went to the locker room with a five-point advantage, 24-19, as Lynch closed the first-half scoring with another three-pointer from the baseline off a feed from Voith.

Reaching double figures for the 11th time this season, Dominique Meeks led Haverford with 10 points and seven rebounds. Miller chipped in with nine while Voith added eight. Pizzuto effectively controlled the offense with six assists and no turnovers in 38 minutes at the point guard spot.

Shimrock took game-high scoring honors with 13 points while Diamond Lewis added 10 to go along with nine rebounds and seven assists. The Fords blanketed leading scorer Jessica Porada throughout the night and limited her to just five points.

Haverford will take on Penn State-Hazleton at Gooding Arena on Saturday at 1 p.m. in its final non-conference contest of the season. The hunt for a Centennial playoff spot will resume next Wednesday when the Fords head to Muhlenberg College.