GETTYSBURG, Pa. – The Haverford College women's basketball team came up just short in the Centennial Conference Championship game on Saturday night at Bream Gym in Gettysburg, falling to the host Bullets by a final score of 44-35. The contest was tied 35-35 with fewer than three minutes to go, but Gettysburg scored the final nine points of the game to take the conference title. Haverford is now 21-6 on the season while Gettysburg improves to 25-2.
Sierra Berkel paced Haverford with 11 points and seven rebounds. Samantha Wetzel added seven rebounds and four blocks to a five point night. With her four-block effort on Saturday night, Wetzel passed Heidi Snyder of McDaniel for the Centennial Conference all-time career blocks record with 272 career rejections.
Gettysburg opened the contest red hot from the field and took a 9-0 lead into the Haverford timeout with 7:29 to play. The Fords regrouped from there, with Katie Cook drilling a three-pointer and Sierra Berkel completing a three-point play to cut the lead to 9-6 with 6:16 left in the opening stanza.
Cook drilled one from distance with 2:13 left in the quarter, cutting the Gettysburg advantage to just four at 15-11. A 4-0 spurt for the Fords to open the second quarter cut the lead to 17-15 in favor of the Bullets, but a 7-0 run for the hosts restored a nine point advantage with 1:11 remaining in the half.
Maddie Gallic hit a corner three with 45 seconds left to play in the half, breathing some life into the Haverford attack before the intermission.
Gettysburg held a 25-18 advantage at the half despite Haverford holding a 28 percent to 26.9 percent advantage in field goal percentage. Gettysburg got to the line often in the first half, sinking 9-of-13 from the charity stripe. The Bullets also benefited from seven points off turnovers in the first half.
Berkel hit back-to-back layups to open the second half scoring for Haverford, cutting the lead to five. With 3:27 remaining in the third, Macy Goldbach converted from downtown as Haverford suddenly trailed by just two at 29-27. Samantha Wetzel finished a layup as the Fords headed to the fourth quarter down 33-29.
Facing a 35-29 deficit with 6:05 to play, Wetzel drained a straight away three-pointer to cut the lead to one possession at 35-32. After a 10 seconds call against Gettysburg, Goldbach notched another three-pointer to tie the score at 35-35, the first tie of the contest and the first time that Gettysburg did not hold the lead.
Gettysburg turned the ball over on the ensuing possession, forcing a Bullets timeout with the momentum of the contest seemingly on the side of the visitors with 4:55 to play.
After fruitless possessions from both squads, Ashley Gehrin hit a three-pointer for a 38-35 lead for Gettysburg with 2:04 to go. A Haverford turnover gave Kendra Meredith a layup for a 40-35 lead, forcing the Fords to foul to keep pace offensively. Meredith hit four free throws down the stretch to seal the title for Gettysburg.
Haverford will now look for a potential at-large berth to the NCAA tournament. The tournament field will be announced on Monday afternoon at 2:30 p.m. with an online selection show to be streamed by NCAA.com.