ALLENTOWN, Pa. - The Haverford College women's basketball team came up just short at visiting Muhlenberg on Thursday evening, falling 44-40 inside Memorial Hall. The Fords are now 17-6 on the season and 13-5 in Centennial Conference play, while Muhlenberg improves to 14-7 overall and 10-6 against Centennial opponents.
Sophomore Julianna Clark led all scorers with 14 points, and added two blocks, coming off the bench to pace Haverford's second unit. Senior Macy Goldbach poured in 11, connecting on three of seven from beyond the arc, while adding seven rebounds. Junior Megan Furch stuffed the stat sheet with eight rebounds, four assists, and two steals. Senior Katie Cook had a game-best five assists.
The Fords struggled down the stretch, as Muhlenberg used a staunch defensive effort to keep Haverford scoreless over the final eight minutes of regulation. Haverford started the contest strong offensively, as junior Anna-Sophia Capizzi knocked down a three to give Haverford a 6-4 advantage. After an early Mules turnover, junior Maddie Gallic converted on a layup, extending the cushion to four at 8-4. Capizzi knocked down her second triple of the contest as Haverford extended its lead to 11-4 with 4:49 to go in the first.
The run later stretched to 11-0 as Clark came off the bench on fire, banking in a trey with 2:46 to play in the stanza. Muhlenberg looked to regroup from that point, calling for a timeout down 14-4. The Haverford onslaught continued as Goldbach then buried a three, giving Haverford a 16-6 lead as the scoring run stretched to 16-2. Haverford quickly regained possession, with Goldbach again draining a corner trey, giving Haverford a 22-6 lead and prompting another Muhlenberg timeout with 7:22 to go in the half.
The Mules cut the lead down to 10 with a 6-0 run of their own, but Clark knocked a three down from the top of the key, restoring a 25-12 advantage for Haverford. Another 9-0 spurt for the Mules included a three-pointer from Ny Thomas that brought the hosts within six, alerting Haverford to call for timeout with under two minutes left in the half. Muhlenberg eventually brought the contest to within as few as four, finishing the half on a 15-3 run to close to within 25-21 entering the intermission.
The hosts cut the score to just one as Tara Szawaluk opened the second half scoring with a three-pointer, and Carley Hamilton gave Muhlenberg its first lead of the contest at 27-25 with a three-pointer of her own. Goldbach pulled the Fords back to within one at 31-30 with a trey that came with 5:37 remaining, but a 5-0 run for Muhlenberg allowed the hosts to take a 38-32 lead, their largest of the contest. The spurt prompted a Haverford timeout with 2:26 left in the third quarter. Junior Hannah Zoll added a late layup in the third to trim the advantage to four entering the fourth.
Coming out of the gates in the final quarter, Clark scored on three consecutive Haverford possessions, giving Haverford a 40-38 lead with just under eight minutes to play. Unfortunately for the Fords, Muhlenberg would close the contest on a 6-0 run.
Margaux Eripret and Mikaela McGarvey added buckets for the Mules as the hosts pulled ahead 42-40, forcing Haverford to take a timeout with 3:36 remaining in regulation. The two sides traded fruitless possessions in the waning minutes of the contest, with stifling defensive efforts and turnovers becoming a theme down the stretch.
McGarvey missed a strong chance at a layup with 14 seconds remaining, giving Haverford possession with a chance to tie or take the lead with the shot clock off. Strong pressure defensively from the Mules forced Clark into a deep three-pointer attempt that missed the mark, and Haverford was forced to foul as McGarvey grabbed the defensive rebound. McGarvey made both of her attempts from the line to seal the contest.
Muhlenberg did not have a scorer in double figures, with Eripret leading the way with eight total points. Sara Dilly had five rebounds and three assists.
Haverford now has the weekend off from competition before returning for the final home contest of ther egular season on Wednesday, February 13 against Swarthmore (6 p.m.). The regular season finale then comes at McDaniel on Saturday, February 16 (1 p.m.)