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Men's Basketball Held Off by First-Place Johns Hopkins

Jack Cork
Jack Cork

HAVERFORD, Pa. – A stout Haverford defense held first-place Johns Hopkins to its second lowest shooting percentage of the season, but an equally strong Blue Jays' defense helped visiting JHU to a 60-48 victory on Saturday afternoon. Johns Hopkins came into the contest receiving votes in the latest national poll.

Haverford's offense was a very balanced effort as Joe Hartman and Joe Scibelli finished with 12 and 11 points, respectively. Scibelli was just one point shy of a double-double after the opening half and finished the contest with 15 rebounds. With his latest effort, Scibelli adds to his Centennial Conference leading total with his ninth double-double of the season and 27th such outing of his career. Joey Kern led the Blue Jay offense with 18 points.

The Fords were seemingly within striking distance for most of the afternoon, but just could not get over the initial 10-2 lead that Johns Hopkins claimed out of the gates. Back-to-back three-pointers from seniors Kahlil Garnes and Joe Scibelli trimmed that deficit to a 16-12 game, but Michael Gardner came back with a three of his own in what was his final game inside Gooding Arena during the regular season. Another three-pointer from Hartman with 6:53 remaining in the opening half made the score 23-19, but against JHU answered with seven straight.

Leading 33-24 after 20 minutes, Johns Hopkins scored the first five points of the second half to take a game-high 14 point advantage. As was the case all afternoon, that lead did not stay extended for long as the Fords rallied back with 12 of the next 14 points. Following the offensive theme, four different Haverford players scored during that spurt. Nevertheless, the Blue Jays countered with a 9-0 run of their own to push the lead back to double figures with less than nine minutes to play.

Haverford got the lead back to down to as few as seven points with leading scorers Scibelli and Hartman accounting for Haverford's final two field goals of the afternoon. However, the Blue Jays defense stood tall the rest of the game to fend off the Fords' final attacks during the eventual 60-48 JHU win.

The Fords finished the game with one more field goal and the same number of three-pointers as the visiting Blue Jays. However, Johns Hopkins made 21 more trips to the charity stripe and came away with 14 more points at the free throw line on the afternoon. Haverford shared the ball extremely well with 13 assists on its 20 field goals. Garnes led the Fords with four dimes. Both teams finished the game with 37 rebounds. Haverford held a slight 8-7 edge on the offensive glass.

Men's basketball will conclude its three-game homestand this coming Wednesday with a 6 p.m. tip against Washington College. The Fords will be looking to avenge a narrow 59-54 Shoremen victory during the month of December from when these same two teams met in Chestertown.