ALLENTOWN, Pa. - Senior Nina Voith scored a career-high 27 points to help the visiting Haverford College women's basketball team take down previously unbeaten Muhlenberg College, 87-80, in Centennial Conference action on Tuesday night.
The Fords (4-0, 2-0 CC) kept their perfect record intact on the strength of stellar shooting from the field (26-for-52) and free throw line (27-for-30) which resulted in an offensive outburst that came within six points of matching the program record for points in a game. Entering the contest averaging 59 points per contest, Haverford has now won two of the last three at Memorial Hall after never beating the Mules (4-1, 2-1) previously on their home floor.
Muhlenberg came into the contest with a high-octane offense that was averaging 80 points a game but it was the Fords that were red-hot from the opening tip. Haverford shot 54 percent (14-for-26) from the field over the first 20 minutes of play including three three-pointers from Elizabeth Lynch. The Fords were just as effective on the defensive end of the floor as they forced the Mules to take several difficult shots. Muhlenberg's Abby Stenger hit a three-pointer on the hosts' first shot of the game in the opening minute but it would be nine minutes later before the Mules would score from the field again due to Haverford's relentless defensive effort.
A surge by Muhlenberg at the end of the first half resulted in just a one-point lead, 42-41, for the Fords at intermission but they went right back to work after the break. Leeann Lanza put the Mules up for the first time in the contest, 43-42, with the initial bucket of the second half but Lynch quickly restored Haverford's advantage with her fourth three-pointer of the night.
A jumper by senior Cara Wyant pushed the Fords ahead by six, 56-50, before Muhlenberg fought back to tie the contest at 56-56 with 10 minutes to go on the clock. Muhlenberg grabbed a slim lead on three occasions over the next five minutes but Haverford had the answer each time. Junior guard Pallavi Juneja provided a lift off the bench during that stretch with eight points in a two-minute span including two three-pointers. Juneja's final long-range bomb of the night put the Fords ahead by two, 72-70, with five minutes remaining in regulation. It would be the final lead change of the night.
Haverford went 13-for-14 from the free throw line over the remainder of the contest to account for the Mules' first loss of the season.
Voith was 8-for-17 from the field and 11-for-12 from the free throw line and just missed a double-double with nine rebounds. Lynch tied the program's single-game record for the second time with five three-pointers on her way to matching her career high in points (21). The junior forward also added 10 rebounds to register her second straight double-double. Jacquelyne Pizzuto contributed season-high marks in points and assists with 15 and eight, respectively, while Juneja finished with a career-high nine points in 13 minutes of action.
Leanna Tallamy led Muhlenberg with 18 points while Erin Laney and Stenger chipped in with 12 apiece.
The Fords return to action on Dec. 3 when they welcome Washington College to Gooding Arena in the first home contest of the 2013-14 campaign. The conference game against the Shorewomen begins at 6 p.m.