CHESTERTOWN, Md. – The Haverford College men's basketball team used a dominant first half to record a Centennial Conference road victory at Washington College on Monday evening, 66-61. The Fords shot a blistering 65.2 percent in the first 20 minutes to jump in front 40-19 and finished the game with a season-best 51.1 percent mark from the field.
In the victory, Haverford saw four of its eight players who entered the game record at least 10 points. Anthony Reyes led the way with 20 of those points off the bench, a total that included a 4-of-6 night from beyond the arc. Freshman Sam Stogdon also starred in his newly found starting role as he recorded his first career double-double with 10 points and a team-high 14 rebounds. Asserting his presence down low, Stogdon also swatted four shots on his career night. Joe Scibelli just missed a double-double with 13 points and eight rebounds, while Walt Plumlee also got into the scoring act with 10 points off the bench.
While the Fords built momentum throughout the game, Washington College took the early lead as Haverford waited for its offensive attack that was about to erupt. The Fords got their momentum rolling when Stogdon grabbed an offensive rebound and got the second chance to go, setting the score at 6-4. From that point on, it was Haverford's half as the Fords carried that run to 10 straight points. Haverford gained its first 10 point advantage of the opening half with 9:25 remaining as Reyes knocked down a trey to make the score 22-12.
The Shoremen did their best to match the Fords basket for basket over the next couple of minutes but the visitors still maintained that double digit advantage, 27-17, with 6:36 left before the break. Continuing to build upon its early success, Haverford really started to click down the final stretch of the first half. The Shoremen didn't score another point from the field in the half and would have been completely blanked had it not been for a pair of free throws with one second showing in the opening stanza.
While the stifling defense was asserting itself, the Haverford offense completely caught fire during a 13-0 run. The Fords closed the half with points on six of their final seven possessions in which they were able to get a shot away on the offensive end. Perhaps even more impressively, those six possessions that kept pushing Haverford's advantage to greater heights all came from different personnel. In total, seven of Haverford's eight players that saw playing time on the night had at least two points after the first 20 minutes of game action.
Defensively, the visitors held Washington College to just 7-of-34 shooting in the opening half, a mark of just over 20 percent that included an empty scorebook on eight attempts from beyond the arc.
The Shoremen found some offensive footing in the second half but were never able to come back and completely erase Haverford's advantage. Slowly chipping away at the Fords' lead, the Shoremen cut the deficit to six points with under five minutes to play. However, both defenses cranked up the intensity as Washington College scored on just two of its next five possessions. Even still, the hosts found a way to make it a single possession game, 60-57, with 50 seconds left in regulation.
Looking to secure the win, Haverford turned to its leading scorer on the evening as Reyes converted each of his six free throw attempts in the final minute of play to salt away the Centennial Conference victory.
After a nice start to a busy week of Centennial Conference action, men's basketball returns home this Wednesday for a showdown with rival Swarthmore in a scheduled 8 p.m. tip. The men's game will be proceeded by the women's start at 6 p.m. During halftime of the men's contest, the Haverford Athletic Department will be honoring the seniors on each of its 23 varsity teams with the annual Senior Blanket Ceremony.