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Men's Basketball Can't Catch No. 12 Swarthmore, Falls 81-69

Kahlil Garnes
Kahlil Garnes

SWARTHMORE, Pa. – Kahlil Garnes poured in a game-high 26 points to help the Haverford College men's basketball team hang right with No. 12 Swarthmore on Wednesday evening. Although the Fords stayed within striking distance for much of the night, they were never able to fully complete a comeback bid in an 81-69 loss to the rival Garnet.

Garnes made six three-pointers to tie his career high which he set just one week ago against Muhlenberg. That mark is tied for the third highest single game total in program history. Joe Scibelli also reached double figures with 11 points. The Garnet had five players in double figures to hold off Haverford's second half challenges.

Haverford jumped on its rival early with the first eight points of the game. Garnes got his night off to a quick start with back-to-back treys on his first two shots. Swarthmore went nearly three minutes before finding the scoreboard, but that basket sparked a rally as the Garnet knotted the game at 10 with just 4:30 having come off of game clock.

The tie score marked the first of four occasions in which the teams were deadlocked during the opening half. Swarthmore's first two possession advantage came at the 7:58 mark of the half, but a 9-0 run from the Fords gave them their final lead of the opening period, 26-23, with 5:40 to play.

Garnes started that rally with a pair of free throws and capped it with a steal into two fast break points. In between, Joe Hartman knocked down one of his two triples on the night while Scibelli also put a second chance basket in. Swarthmore then tied the game with a three of its own. The Garnet's lead grew to eight points in the half before one of Scibelli's three treys on the evening made the score 34-29 in favor of the Garnet as the teams headed to the locker rooms.

Layups from Jack Cork and Michael Wiper out of the halftime break got the Fords to within a single point, 34-33, with 18:27 remaining in regulation. Never able to regain the lead, but never out of the game, Haverford trailed by just two, 54-52, with 13:03 to play following Hartman's second three-pointer of the evening. Nevertheless, a 7-0 run from the Garnet stretched the lead to what was their largest lead of the night up until that point.

More points in the paint from Cork and another three-pointer from Garnes made the score 61-57 with under nine minutes to play. Swarthmore finally started to put some distance between themselves and the Fords with points on their next six offensive possessions to hold their first double digit lead of the night with under six minutes to play. Unfortunately for the Fords' upset bid, that run coincided with one of the few droughts on the evening for the Haverford offense as it went nearly four minutes without a basket in the final minutes during an eventual 81-69 defeat.

In addition to Haverford's two juniors in double figures, Jesse Turkson, Hartman, and Cork all finished with eight points. The Fords also shared the ball well with 15 assists on 27 field goals. Cork and Turkson each had three helpers to lead the Fords as eight different players recorded an assist.

Men's basketball will wrap up its season this Saturday against Johns Hopkins at 2 p.m. That game will serve as Senior Day for the graduating members of the team: Jeremy Evans and Josh Fried. Prior to the season finale, the program will hold its annual Alumni Game along with the Mike Mucci Retirement celebration.