Strong defensive effort lifts Fords over Dickinson, 65-51

Strong defensive effort lifts Fords over Dickinson, 65-51

HAVERFORD, Pa. - The Haverford College women's basketball team limited visiting Dickinson College to just six second-half field goals as the Fords claimed a 65-51 Centennial Conference victory on Saturday afternoon at Gooding Arena.

Shannon Smith was a major factor in the strong defensive effort as she registered new career-high marks in rebounds (14), blocks (6) and steals (3). The junior center also came within two points of matching her career-high scoring output as she finished with nine points on the day to help her squad to a 38-12 advantage from points in the paint.

The opening eight-plus minutes of the contest saw the two squads combine for just 17 points as Sarah Phillips' jumper at 11:14 gave the Red Devils (3-11, 0-9 CC) a 9-8 advantage.

Haverford did not trail for long as Rachel Baskin's layup a minute later, off a feed from Smith, gave the Fords (12-1, 7-1) a lead they would not relinquish. Baskin's only bucket of the day was the start of an 18-9 run by the hosts that pushed Haverford ahead by eight (26-18) with four minutes to go until the break.

Dickinson battled back to move within three with 2:26 left on the first-half clock but Haverford scored seven of the final 10 points of the stanza to take a 33-26 lead into the locker room. The late flurry included a jumper by Nina Voith that beat the halftime buzzer after Smith's fourth block of the opening 20 minutes.

The Red Devils scored the first point of the second half on a foul shot by Kelsey Walsh but the Fords extinguished thoughts of a visitors' rally by scoring seven of the next 10 to extend their advantage to double figures at 40-30 with 15:53 to go in the contest.

Haverford still led by double digits with seven and half minutes remaining but Dickinson made a late charge to pull within three at 51-48 with 5:07 on the clock.

The Red Devils would get no closer though as a Voith jumper capped a 10-1 Fords' run that spanned over three minutes. The final surge provided Haverford with a 12-point lead with 1:47 left in the game before two free throws each from Voith and Elizabeth Lynch in the final minute of play sealed the conference victory.

Voith topped all scorers with 19 points while Lynch contributed 15 points and five rebounds. Junior Jacquelyne Pizzuto added 12 points including a 2-for-3 performance from three-point distance. Baskin tallied five of the Fords' 16 assists on the afternoon.

Haverford's defense pestered Dickinson into a 6-for-28 shooting performance from the field in the second half as the Red Devils finished 16-for-55 from the field overall (29.1 percent). Freshman Jennifer Smith and junior Sarah Phillips paced the visitors with 12 and 10 points, respectively.

The Fords play their final home contest in the month of January on Wednesday when they welcome rival Swarthmore College to Gooding Arena for a Centennial Conference game beginning at 6 p.m.