HAVERFORD, Pa. – The Haverford College men's basketball team found itself facing an early deficit at home just like in its last outing against Muhlenberg. Trailing by as many as 14 points in the opening half, the Fords (2-3) used a 10-0 run to start the second half and tie the score. However, the visiting Captains (3-1), a team receiving votes in the latest D3Hoops.com national poll, would never fully relinquish their lead, prevailing by a 71-66 final inside Gooding '84 Arena.
Gibby Graves scored 11 of his team-high 17 points in the second half to help lead the Haverford rally. Matt Sherman and Lucas Colombo gave the Fords a trio of players to reach double figures as they both scored 14 points in the contest. Christopher Newport was led offensively by a pair of 18-point performances from Tim Daly and Marcus Carter.
The first half saw the Captains open up an 11-point lead midway through with a 9-0 run over a span of 3:24. That lead would grow to as many as 14 points, 30-16, with just over five minutes to play when Daly came down with an offensive rebound and finished with the put back.
The Fords answered with 9-1 run of their own to cut the deficit to six points with just under two minutes left in the half. During that run, Colombo poured in the first seven points, while a pair of free throws from Graves made the score 31-25 with 1:49 on the clock. However, the last momentum shift would belong to the Captains as they added 3-pointer at the end of the half to take a 10-point lead, 35-25, into the break.
Coming out of the locker room, a refocused defense got Haverford back in the game as the Fords did not allow a point to the Captains for the first 4:47 of the half before Carter hit a layup in the lane. Prior to those two points, Haverford got a 3-pointer from James Levine, a pair of layups from Graves and three more points from Colombo to knot the score at 35-all.
Although the Fords never took the lead, Christopher Newport could never fully shake Haverford. When the Captains grew their lead to six points with just over eight minutes to play, the Fords went back to driving the lane with Graves and Colombo to stop the brief skid. After a 10-point lead to start the half, Christopher Newport was not able to make the game a three-possession affair until finding a 55-48 lead with 7:15 to play in the game after a 3-pointer went.
The two sides would trade points throughout the remainder of the game, allowing Christopher Newport to match that seven point edge three more times coming down the stretch. The Captains' final lead of seven came with 1:22 on the clock and Christopher Newport up 68-61.
Sherman tried to will his team back into the game with a shot from beyond the arc after a CNU layup. Following a steal by Colombo that stopped one Christopher Newport scoring chance, the Captains missed the front end of a 1-and-1 on their next trip down the court. During the Fords' ensuing possession, Sherman got to the free throw line and cut the deficit to 68-66 with 28 seconds left to play. However, Daly was again in position to keep Haverford from coming any closer as he hit a layup.
On that same play, Daly drew the contact to send him to the line. He would miss the bonus but an offensive rebound led to another point at the free throw line as the clock would eventually run out on Haverford's comeback bid.
Despite the final score, Haverford shot better from the field, going 24-of-52 (46.2%), compared to a 26-of-64 night (40.6%) afternoon from the visitors. The Fords also got 15 points from the free throw line, while the Captains had just 12. However, a 48-29 advantage in rebounding for Christopher Newport concealed those offensive differences in the final score.
Men's basketball will now head to Washington College for its first true road game of the season. That Centennial Conference contest will be played this coming Tuesday. Opening tip is scheduled for 8 p.m. Tuesday's game will also be a doubleheader with the women getting underway at 6 p.m.