HAVERFORD, Pa. – The Haverford College women's basketball team was edged by Gettysburg, 55-54 on Saturday afternoon in a Senior Day thriller at at the Gooding '84 Arena. The stellar matchup between two squads near the top of the Centennial Conference standings was decided in the final seconds as Haverford nearly erased a double-digit deficit. Haverford was paced by senior co-captain Sierra Berkel, who matched a career high with 24 points for a 13th straight double-digit scoring output. Haverford falls to 17-4 overall on the season and 13-3 in conference action. Gettysburg pulls to 18-2 overall and 14-1 in Centennial competition.
Gettysburg started strong out of the gates, climbing to a 9-2 lead on an Emma Dorshimer three-pointer with 5:41 left in the first quarter. The Fords fell behind 13-4 following a Kendra Meredith layup and called for a timeout with 3:36 remaining in the quarter.
With 1:16 left in the first quarter, Julianna Clark hit a three-pointer to close the gap to just five at 15-10 and the Fords defense forced a 10 second violation with a stout full court press on the ensuing Gettysburg possession.
An Emily Gibbons layup with 7:02 left in the second restored a 10-point lead for the Bullets, and Gettysburg pushed the lead to double-digits at 12 with 3:40 left in the half as an Ashley Gehrin layup made the lead 30-18 in favor of the visitors.
Clark again had an answer, knocking down a shot from beyond the arc to cut the lead to eight at 32-24 with 1:52 left in the half. Megan Furch made a pair of free throws and poured in a jumper and suddenly Haverford was down by just four at 32-28 with 54 seconds remaining. With under 10 seconds left in the half, Clark hit her fourth three-pointer of the half. Haverford trailed just 32-31 heading into the intermission.
The Fords briefly took the lead to begin the third quarter as Berkel finished a layup for a 33-32 advantage. The two teams were deadlocked in a seesaw fight before a 6-0 run for Gettysburg gave the visitors some breathing room up 41-35. Haverford answered yet again, cutting the lead down to four on a Furch jumper with 2:51 left in the period.
The score held at 45-41 until a 7-0 Bullets run gave the visitors a double-digit advantage at 52-41 with 6:59 remaining in regulation. Undaunted, the Fords had yet another response, going on a 10-2 run to pull back to within three at 54-51 with 47 seconds remaining in regulation. Haverford's run was accelerated by a strong defensive effort that limited perimeter opportunities while also stifling interior shots for the visitors. Haverford held Gettysburg to just 20 percent shooting in the final stanza and did not allow a three-pointer in the entirety of the second half.
A chance to tie the score went fruitless as Macy Goldbach missed a three-point try with under a minute left. Gehrin made one of two from the free-throw line, giving Haverford the ball back with just four seconds to play. Samantha Wetzel hit a three-pointer that put Haverford within one with just under one second remaining, but Gettysburg was able to let time expire on the inbound pass to seal a road victory.
Clark finished with 12 points as her display beyond the arc helped buoy Haverford in the first half. Wetzel finished with nine rebounds and added four blocks while Katie Cook registered seven assists. Gettysburg had three players in double figures as Emma Dorshimer, Meredith Brown and Gehrin each had 13 points. Kendra Meredith added seven assists while Gibbons pulled down 11 rebounds.
Prior to the contest, Haverford honored its senior class of Berkel and Wetzel. The co-captains rank in the top 10 in program history in a multitude of offensive and defensive categories. The pair has been a part of 67 wins in their four years on campus and have appeared in the Centennial Conference tournament four times.
Haverford will return to action on Tuesday, February 6 with another key Centennial Conference matchup against No. 18 Muhlenberg. Game time is slated for 7:30 p.m. inside the Gooding '84 Arena.