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Women's Basketball Repels Bears, 57-53

Maddie Gallic
Maddie Gallic
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HAVERFORD, Pa. - The Haverford College women's basketball team (15-5, 11-4 CC) posted a crucial 57-53 Centennial Conference victory over visiting Ursinus (13-7, 10-5 CC) on Wednesday evening inside Gooding '84 Arena. The Fords now hold sole possession of the third spot in the conference standings after sweeping the season series from the Bears. In a game that featured eight ties and five lead changes, the two squads were locked in a see-saw battle that came down to the final minutes, with the Fords scoring their final six points from the free throw line to withstand the challenge.

Julianna Clark had 13 points to pace Haverford, including three triples. Reigning Centennial Conference Player of the Week Megan Furch grabbed a career-best 12 rebounds and added nine points, two blocks, and two steals. Maddie Gallic had a standout all-around effort, stuffing the scoresheet with 10 points, eight rebounds, four assists, and two blocks.

The two teams did not find much separation in the early goings, with an Anna-Sophia Capizzi trey giving Haverford a three-point cushion at 10-7 with 2:12 left in the opening period. Aliyah Stephens answered with a three for Ursinus, and Macy Goldbach nailed a jumper in the closing seconds of the stanza for an early 12-10 lead. The Bears found themselves down by just one at 22-21 with 2:08 left in the first, but the Fords began to push the tempo in the final two minutes of the half. Clark finished a layup with 1:35 remaining, and delivered a three-pointer with under a minute left as Haverford extended its lead to six at 27-21. Furch finished a layup in the final seconds as Haverford saw its lead reach seven at 29-22 entering the intermission.

Out of the halftime break, the Fords kept the pressure on Ursinus, with Gallic converting a pair from the charity stripe before Goldbach added a layup, giving Haverford its largest lead of the contest at 33-22 with 8:57 remaining.  A Gabby Downs trey with 5:48 left in the third trimmed the Haverford lead to a single possession, but Clark unleashed a three to bolster the Haverford advantage to six with 4:36 left in the frame. A quick 6-0 spurt for Ursinus erased that lead before Haverford eventually regained a slim two-point advantage heading into the final quarter.

Downs connected from three-point range to give Ursinus a one-point lead in the opening minutes of the fourth, and Clark again responded from long range to give the Fords a 48-47 lead with just 6:35 to go. A Goldbach jumper provided a four-point cushion for Haverford but the lead was erased by a 4-0 Ursinus jaunt. The game was tied for the eighth time at 51-51 with just 1:48 to go.

Haverford scored its final six points from the free-throw line, helping to ice the game away as Gallic was fouled in a tie game with under a minute left. A Ursinus turnover with 15 seconds left handed Haverford possession with a two-point lead. Stephens converted on a last-ditch layup to pull Ursinus to within two with four seconds left, but Gallic was sent back to the line, and made both her throws to secure victory for the hosts.

The Fords caused 12 turnovers, and converted 16 points off of those giveaways. The Haverford bench was critical, with Clark providing a spark from long-distance as Nyla Robinson (three points, five rebounds) also shined in a reserve role. Katie Cook started her 100th career game, tying the Haverford program record for most contests started in a career. Cook added four assists, climbing to within 39 of the Haverford career record held by Jacquelyne Pizzuto '15 (407). 

The Fords return to action on Saturday afternoon with a home matchup against Dickinson. Haverford has won the last five meetings with the Red Devils, including a 12-point victory at the Kline Center earlier this month.  The Fords will honor their senior class (Goldbach, Cook, Emily O'Sullivan, and Ali Weiner) prior to the 1 p.m. tipoff.  The Haverford men are slated to take on the Red Devils at 3 p.m to wrap up the doubleheader.