MEDIA, Pa. – The Haverford College men's basketball team showed no rust after an 18 day layoff over the holiday break as the Fords (5-6) got a 93-80 win over Penn State Brandywine (7-4) in Haverford's first athletic event of the 2018 calendar year. Wednesday night's non-conference finale was the first-ever meeting between the two schools in program history.
Haverford matched its season-high point total that was originally set during the NYU Championship game back in the opening week of the season with 93 points. Along the way, four Haverford players recorded double-double figure outings. Jonathan Lang led the Fords with 23 points for his second 20-plus point game of the season and third of his career. He also collected four steals off the bench. Kahlil Garnes added 16 points, while Joe Scibelli and Jesse Turkson each finished with 12. Turkson also collected 11 rebounds for his second double-double of the season.
The Fords showed the capability to score in bunches during the opening half, shooting 69.7% from the field and over 70% from beyond the arc during that time. That scoring output was first ignited by back-to-back three-pointers from Garnes just over two minutes into the game. After that first three went down, Haverford was well on its way to a 15-0 run during the next 2:53 of playing time. However, the Nittany Lions roared back with a 17-2 spurt of their own to reclaim the lead.
After a three-pointer from Lang briefly tied the game, a 10-0 run from the host Nittany Lions gave Penn State Brandywine its largest advantage of night, a 39-29 lead with 6:54 to play in the half. However, the Fords settled down and found their shooting rhythm again as two more treys from Garnes helped cue a 12-2 run to once again tie the game. Following a trade of baskets, the Fords closed the half on a 14-5 and took a 57-48 lead into the locker room. Finishing the half strong, Haverford outscored Penn State Brandywine by a 28-9 margin during the final seven-plus minutes of the opening period.
Haverford held onto that lead up until the midway point of the second half before the hosts regained a 74-72 advantage. Turkson snapped that offensive cold spell with a pair of free throws to knot the game with exactly 10 minutes to play. Penn State Brandywine led by one point with a free throw on its next possession but a jumper from Lang with 8:35 left in regulation marked the final time the Fords had to reclaim the lead all evening.
The Nittany Lions did tie the game at 80-all with 5:36 left in the second half, but one final run – a 13-0 advantage – was more than enough for Haverford to seal its fifth victory of the season. Five different players scored in those final five minutes to help the Fords cap a 93-80 non-conference victory.
After a tough opening half at the line, Haverford came back with a 16-of-19 second half at the charity stripe. Highlighting those efforts was a 7-for-7 night at the line from Lang. The Fords' hot start in the opening half from beyond the arc was headlined by a 4-for-5 performance from Garnes as the team shot over 50% from the field on the evening.
Haverford also controlled the boards with a 46-36 advantage in rebounding, while 18 of the Fords' 33 baskets were assisted. Thirteen different players pulled down a rebound while that same number also dished out an assist in the win. On top of Turkson's team-leading 11 rebounds, Garnes dished out a team-best four helpers.
With the close of non-conference play on Wednesday evening, men's basketball will now turn its attention to Centennial Conference action when the Fords return home this Saturday against Dickinson. That game against the Red Devils inside the Gooding '84 Arena is scheduled for a 3 p.m. tip and will be part of a doubleheader with the women's game getting underway at 1 p.m.