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Men's Basketball Finishes Season Sweep of McDaniel, 78-71

Jesse Turkson
Jesse Turkson
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WESTMINSTER, Md. – The Haverford College men's basketball team now has its highest win total since the 2013-14 season as the Fords finished a season sweep of McDaniel with a 78-71 win on the road Saturday. The latest victory gives Haverford its fifth season sweep of the Green Terror since the Centennial Conference switched to its current scheduling format during the 2003-04 season. The sweep was Haverford's first over McDaniel since the 2011-12 season.

Jesse Turkson, who had a previous career high of 20 points during the first victory over McDaniel, eclipsed that mark with 21 points on Saturday. Turkson shot 10-of-12 from the field and also pulled down 13 rebounds as part of his fourth double-double in his rookie campaign. He was one of four Haverford players in double figures on the score sheet.  Jonathan Lang (17 points) and Joe Hartman (14 points) did most of their damage from distance as both went 4-of-6 from the three-point arc. Joe Scibelli recorded his Centennial Conference-leading fifth double-double of the year with 16 points and 13 rebounds. His 16 career double-doubles are also the most among active Centennial Conference players.

The Fords jumped out to a 38-35 advantage after shooting a strong 53.1% during the opening half. That mark was strongly influenced by Turkson's 7-of-9 shooting performance which netted him 14 first half points. In a highly competitive half, the lead changed hands nine times during the opening period. However, it was not until that final lead change of that half that Haverford held a lead of more than one possession.

On the other side, McDaniel's largest lead was just seven points which the Green Terror held just over five minutes into the game. The Fords scored the next seven points. They came with four points from Turkson and a trey from Joe Hartman, who was a perfect 2-for-2 from distance in the half. After multiple lead changes in the ensuing minutes, Haverford was trailing 26-24 with 6:21 to play.

Haverford coach Patrick Doherty called a timeout following that latest shift of momentum and the team responded with a 12-0 run. After holding its final lead of the opening half, McDaniel was kept off the scoreboard for nearly five minutes while Haverford built its lead to 10 points.

Since taking that lead with 3:44 to play in the opening half, the Fords held the outright lead all the way until the 6:17 mark of the second half before McDaniel tied the game at 61-all following a three-pointer from Jared Houck. The Green Terror never regained the lead, but did tie the game at 61 and 63-all. Before the Green Terror rallied to knot the score, Haverford matched its largest lead of the game until that point by holding a 10 point advantage with 13:16 to play in regulation as Lang connected from beyond the arc. Haverford was still leading by nine, 59-50, with 8:31 to play after Lang knocked down a pair of free throw attempts.

Undeterred by McDaniel's final surge, the Fords scored 11 straight to break the final tie of the game. Hartman knocked down two more triples to expand the margin while leading scorers Scibelli and Turkson also figured prominently into that run. After Turkson's old-fashioned three-point play with 1:42 remaining, the Fords held their largest advantage of the entire afternoon – a 74-63 lead. Haverford was still up by 10 with less than 10 seconds to play before the Green Terror capped the scoring with a three-pointer of their own in the final seconds to account for the 78-71 final.

The Fords finished the day shooting 54.2% from the field while limiting the Green Terror to just six attempts from the free throw line – all of which came in the second half. Haverford also dominated the boards with a 42-20 advantage in rebounding.

Men's basketball will wrap up the 2017-18 season with a pair of games next week. Up first will be the second meeting with Swarthmore on Wednesday. That contest, which went to overtime the first time the teams met, is scheduled for an 8 p.m. tip. The regular season finale will be next Saturday, February 17 at home against Johns Hopkins. Game time is scheduled for 2 p.m. The contest will also be Alumni Day, the date of the Mike Mucci retirement reception, and serve as Senior Day for Class of 2018 graduates Jeremy Evans and Josh Fried.