Fords remain unbeaten at home with 57-52 victory over Swarthmore

HAVERFORD, Pa. - Elizabeth Lynch scored 12 of her game-high 18 points in the second half to help the Haverford College women's basketball team remain unbeaten at home this season with a 57-52 victory over Swarthmore College in Centennial Conference action on Wednesday night.

The Fords (13-1, 8-1 CC) improved to 7-0 at Gooding Arena in the 2013-14 campaign after rallying past the rival Garnet (8-8, 3-7) in the second half.

Leading by three (27-24) at the break, Swarthmore moved out to its largest lead of the night at 32-26 on a Stephanie Lechich three-pointer with 15:52 left on the clock.

Lynch went 2-for-2 from the line a minute later to kick off an 18-5 Haverford surge that spanned nine-plus minutes. Seven different Fords tallied points in the run and the defense was just as impressive during that time as it limited the Garnet to just one field goal in nine attempts to help the hosts take a 44-37 lead with 6:41 to go in the contest.  

Swarthmore managed to tie the score for the fifth and final time at 44-44 with just under five minutes remaining but Haverford was far from finished.

Junior Jacquelyne Pizzuto nailed a three-pointer from the wing and Lynch followed with a tough drive down the lane to move the Fords back up by five (49-44) with 3:42 to play.

The Garnet made one last push and cut the Haverford advantage to two on a three-pointer from Abbey Deckard at 1:36 but once again the Fords had the answer.

Haverford battled for three offensive rebounds on its next possession and the hard work paid off as Lynch delivered her fourth three-pointer of the night at the one-minute mark to put the Fords on top by five, 54-49.

Pizzuto, the top foul shooter in the conference, then put the finishing touches on Haverford's 13th win of the season with a 3-for-4 performance from the free throw line in the final 30 seconds of action.

Nina Voith joined Lynch in double figures with 10 points to go along with a game-high four steals. Rachel Baskin added eight points and eight rebounds. Shannon Smith led the Fords' effort on the glass with a game-high 10 rebounds.

Katie Lytle, the Garnet's leading scorer on the season, finished with a team-high 14 points but only three of those points came in the second half due to the Fords' tight defense. Elle Larsen and Lechich also reached double digits with 13 and 11, respectively.

Wednesday's victory gives Haverford another half-point in this year's race for the Hood Trophy. The Fords now lead the friendly competition between the two rival institutions, 6.5-0.

Haverford looks for its sixth straight win on Sunday when it faces Immaculata University in the Fords' final non-conference game of the season. The contest against the Mighty Macs begins at 5 p.m.