HAVERFORD, Pa. – The Haverford College men's basketball team took a 79-57 setback against rival Swarthmore on Wednesday evening during the Fords' home finale. The No. 7 Garnet showed why they are nationally-ranked and the front-runners to host the Centennial Conference Tournament as they shot over 48 percent from the field in the opening half. Despite tonight's result, Haverford still remains in front of Swarthmore in the Hood Trophy standings by a 4.5-3.5 advantage in the friendly rivalry.
Playing in front of the home crowd for the final time, Haverford's seniors each played a key role in the Fords jumping out to an early lead against their nationally-ranked rivals. Joe Scibelli led his team with 14 points, while Kahlil Garnes finished with 13 points. Kyle Goldfarb added five points and also dished out three assists.
The visiting Garnet grabbed an early lead in the contest by scoring 12 of the first 18 points. However, Scibelli knocked down his second three-pointer of the early going to stop that brief sprint. Jack Cork, who finished with eight points, got the Fords back within a point following a pair of baskets in the paint. Goldfarb went on to give the Fords their first lead of the night on the next possession as he knocked down a trey of his own to set the score at 16-15 just over eight minutes into regulation.
Garnes gave Haverford its largest lead of the evening as he buried a triple of his own with 8:17 to play in the opening half, making the score 23-19. However, the Garnet eventually regained their composure and ran off 21 of the next 25 points. A buzzer beater from Jesse Turkson down low ended the half on a positive note for the Fords, but they still trailed 40-29 at the break.
Swarthmore hit a three-pointer of its own to open the scoring in the second half. On two separate occasions, Haverford had the Garnet's lead trimmed to 11 points but it just could not cut the deficit to single digits. Two points from Garnes on the fast break made the score 55-44 as the Fords seemed to have some momentum on their side, but Swarthmore answered with 12 straight points to put the game out of reach.
The Garnet finished the game shooting better from beyond the arc than they did from the rest of the field as they built their advantage. In the second matchup of the top two rebounding teams in the conference, Haverford did much better as it limited Swarthmore to a 44-42 advantage on the boards. Turkson led those efforts with eight rebounds. The Fords also assisted 13 of their 23 field goals, with five different players dishing out multiple dimes.
Men's basketball will now wrap up the 2018-19 campaign this Saturday night against Johns Hopkins. That game is scheduled for a 7 p.m. tip in Baltimore. The Fords have already posted their highest overall and road win totals since the 2010-11 season and will look to end the year on a high note by sending their seniors out with a victory.