SWARTHMORE, Pa. – Senior Brett Cohen's 28 points and 12 rebounds helped lead Haverford College's men's basketball team past Ithaca College, 77-67, Friday night in the opening game of the 2013 Equinox Classic at Swarthmore College.
The non-conference match-up was the first game of the season for both teams with Haverford (1-0) and Cohen getting help from Gibby Graves and Matt Sherman, each with 15 points, as the Fords overcame a nine-point first-half deficit against the Bombers (0-1).
Ithaca broke in front early in Friday's contest, pulling out to an 18-9 advantage at the 13-minute mark. Sherman hit a three-pointer to cut into the lead then Cohen followed with a steal and three-pointer to pull the Fords closer.
It wasn't until Anthony Reyes' trey four minutes later that Haverford completely erased the Bombers' early edge as the Fords inched ahead, 27-25, on the sophomore's shot from beyond the arc.
The teams traded the lead twice more before freshman Garrett Johnson's jumper pushed Haverford ahead, 35-34, for good.
The Fords opened the second-half on a 6-0 streak and added 5-0 and 6-0 runs in the first seven minutes to eventually pull out to a 16-point lead, twice, before coasting home with the season-opening win.
Haverford shot 56 percent from the floor for the game and were red-hot in the second half shooting at a 64-percent clip from the field.
Cohen's double-double were game-highs as were his five steals. Graves added four assists and six rebounds, Louis Cipriano pitched in with eight points including a pair of three-pointers, and Lucas Colombo registered a team high five assists to aid the Fords' scorers.
Ithaca's Tom Sweeney scored a team-high 17 points while two other Bombers, Chris Jordan with 14 points and Sam Bevan with 12, reached double-digits in a losing effort.
Friday's second contest pitted Oglethorpe University against host Swarthmore College.
Day two of the Classic continues Saturday in Haverford's Gooding Arena with Swarthmore and Ithaca squaring off at 1 p.m., followed by the Fords and Oglethorpe in Haverford's home opener at 3 p.m.