GETTYSBURG, Pa. – The Haverford College women's basketball team posted a 60-47 win over No. 25 Muhlenberg on Friday night at Bream Gym on the campus of Gettysburg College. Haverford advances to the Centennial Conference championship game for the second time in program history with the win. Haverford is now 21-5 on the season while Muhlenberg falls to 22-4.
The Fords will face off with host Gettysburg (24-2) at 5 p.m. for the Centennial Conference championship on Saturday.
Samantha Wetzel had a standout performance with 21 points and 10 rebounds for her 11th double-double of the season while Sierra Berkel notched a 12 point, 11 rebound night for her sixth double-double output of the season. Wetzel's layup with 7:16 to go in the fourth quarter included the senior's 1,000th career point. Wetzel is just the eighth player in Haverford program history to reach the plateau, joining teammate Berkel who achieved the feat last month at home against Franklin & Marshall.
Wetzel added five blocks on the night and moved to within three blocks of the Centennial Conference career record of 271, currently held by Heidi Snyder of McDaniel.
Haverford jetted out on a 8-0 lead thanks to a pair of layups from Berkel. Muhlenberg called for a timeout with 7:03 left in the first quarter, trailing 6-0, but the run stretched to 12-2 in favor of the Fords following a Megan Furch layup with 3:50 remaining in the stanza. Haverford ended the red hot first quarter with a 20-9 advantage, shooting 62.5 percent in the opening stanza.
Muhlenberg cut the lead to just nine at 29-20 as Chelsea Gary converted a pair of free throws with 4:26 remaining in the first half, but a three from Anna-Sophia Capizzi restored a 12 point lead for the Fords at 32-20 with just under four minutes remaining.
The Fords took a 36-28 lead into the halftime break. Haverford shot 60.7 percent in the first half, holding Muhlenberg to 33.3 percent from the field. With 3:34 left in the third quarter, a Brandi Vallely layup cut the Haverford lead to just seven at 40-33. Sara Dilly hit a jumper with 2:17 to play as Haverford led by just six at 41-35, but Berkel responded on the other end with a layup as the shot clock expired, firing up the Haverford bench and fans in attendance.
Berkel and Wetzel went to work in the fourth quarter, scoring the first six points of the quarter for the Fords. Hogg cut the Haverford lead to single digits with a layup with 5:19 remaining, but another Wetzel bucket put Haverford up by 11 with 3:15 left to play. The Fords were able to take advantage of their lead to slow the tempo and force Muhlenberg to foul, scoring their final six points of the contest from the charity stripe.
In addition to the double-double efforts from Berkel and Wetzel, Macy Goldbach had nine points to go with five rebounds. Each Haverford starter posted at least four rebounds and the Fords held a 43-30 advantage on the boards. Vallely was the only Mules player in double figure scoring with 11 points and five rebounds. Dilly and Chelsea Gary each added nine points.
Haverford faces a quick turnaround, with a 5 p.m. showdown with tournament host Gettysburg on Saturday at Bream Gym to decide the Centennial's automatic berth to the NCAA tournament.
All the action will be streamed live on the Centennial Conference Digital Network and fans are encouraged to keep up with HaverfordAthletics.com and Haverford's social media channels for the latest updates from Gettysburg.