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Women's Basketball Stifles Swarthmore in Regular Season Finale, 57-31

Samantha Wetzel
Samantha Wetzel
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HAVERFORD, Pa. – The Haverford College women's basketball team completely stifled the Swarthmore College Garnet during the final game of the regular season on Wednesday night. The Fords (19-6, 16-4 CC) held the rival Garnet to just 22 percent shooting on the evening during a 57-31 victory.

On the offensive end, three of Haverford's starters finished in double figures. Samantha Wetzel's seventh double-double of the year led the way as she finished with 14 points and 11 rebounds. Sierra Berkel added 12 points, while Maddie Gallic finished with 11 points. Megan Furch led all players off the bench with six points and eight rebounds as Haverford outscored Swarthmore by a 32-10 margin in the paint. Abigail Pirron's eight points led the visiting Garnet.

The Fords won each of the four quarters with the opening half providing the two widest margins of the contest. Swarthmore scored on each of its first two possessions, but it would not score again for nearly 10 minutes as the Fords raced out to a 12-4 lead after the opening quarter. The Fords' run reached 12 straight points early in the second quarter before the Garnet broke a 9:36 scoring drought.

Nevertheless, it would be another five-plus minutes before the Garnet found another basket from the floor as the Fords ran off 13 of the next 15 points to set the score at 27-10. Even when Swarthmore found just its fourth basket of the opening half, Gallic promptly answered with a three-pointer as part of an 18-7 advantage in the second quarter. Swarthmore shot just 4-of-27 from the field (14.8%) in the opening half as the Fords held a 30-11 lead as the teams headed to the locker rooms.

Haverford's largest lead of the night came with 5:24 remaining in the fourth quarter as Hannah Zoll got into the paint for two more points, making the score 54-21. The Fords went on to win by 26 points with a 57-31 advantage at the final buzzer.

Defensively, Haverford did not concede a three-pointer to the Garnet in their six attempts from behind the arc. The Fords blocked 12 shots with Wetzel denying six attempts to add to her school record in that department. Haverford also assisted on 18 of its 24 baskets from the field with Macy Goldbach's five helpers leading the way.

Haverford had already clinched home court advantage in the Centennial Conference Tournament by virtue of its victory last Saturday against McDaniel. Wednesday's victory clinched the outright regular season title for the second time in the last four years.

With a bye in the conference schedule this Saturday, the Fords finish the regular season with 19 wins. That total is the second highest in program history behind the 2013-14 NCAA Tournament team which went 21-3 during the regular season before finishing 24-4 in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

Haverford will now await its opponent in the Centennial Conference Tournament with the semifinals and championship game set for Friday, February 24 and Saturday, February 25 inside the Gooding '84 Arena. The Fords will host the winner of the No. 4/5 matchup on Friday. Playoff seeds will be finalized with this weekend's results while times will be announced early next week. The Fords went 10-2 at home this season. They will be riding a four-game winning streak into the conference semifinals and have won the last eight contests on their home floor.