GETTYSBURG, Pa. – The third-seeded Haverford College women's basketball (21-6) team captured the Centennial Conference Championship in resounding fashion on Saturday afternoon at Bream Gym in Gettysburg, taking a 62-40 victory over the host and top-seeded Bullets (22-5) to return to the pinnacle of the conference for the first time since the 2013-14 campaign. Haverford has now secured an NCAA postseason berth for the second consecutive season.
Macy Goldbach was named the most outstanding player of the conference tournament after finishing the championship game with 22 points, including four three-pointers. Anna-Sophia Capizzi also tallied in double figures, pouring in 17 points. Megan Furch and Katie Cook each had eight rebounds while Cook added a game-best five assists. Maddie Gallic added a career-best three blocks, as the Haverford defense provided five in total. The visitors owned a 36-32 rebounding advantage, and grabbed eight steals on the afternoon.
The Fords scored on their first three possessions, but the two squads were mainly deadlocked in the early goings in a game that looked destined to come down to the wire from the start. Julianna Clark buried a three-pointer to hand Haverford an 11-8 advantage with 3:23 left in the first, and Gettysburg answered to equal at 11-11, eventually taking a 16-11 lead into the second quarter.
From that point, Gettysburg added just one point at the free-throw line before Haverford began to kick its offensive attack and defensive intensity up a notch.
Cook knocked down a trey to cut the lead to just three at 17-14, and after a Gallic steal, Capizzi hit a trey to knot things up at 17-17. Furch gave Haverford the lead on the next possession, and after a steal in the backcourt, Goldbach converted a layup. Suddenly, the Fords found themselves in the lead by four at 21-17. Goldbach added a trey for a 24-17 lead, and later pounced on a jumper to cap the run at 15-0 as the Fords completely changed the tenor of the contest in just over three minutes, leading 28-19 with 4:55 to go in the half.
The lead hit double digits at 31-21 as Goldbach again connected from distance, and a Hannah Zoll scoop-and-score put the Fords up 12 with 2:17 remaining. Haverford took a 35-24 lead into the halftime intermission, outscoring Gettysburg by a 24-8 margin in the second quarter. Goldbach led all scorers at the halftime break with 10, while Capizzi had nine on 1-3 from beyond the arc in the first half.
Goldbach scored the first points of the second half, connecting on a transition layup as Haverford quickly turned rebounding into offense on the other end of the floor. Capizzi then knocked down a trey on the following Haverford possession, as the Fords saw their lead balloon to 40-24 with 8:56 left in the third. Cook later knocked down her second triple of the contest as the lead reached 43-28 Haverford with six minutes to go in the stanza.
Goldbach connected from downtown with 3:55 left in the quarter, and suddenly the Fords found themselves up 20 at 48-28. The Fords were able to cruise in the fourth quarter, with the lead never falling below 15 points. With 22 seconds left, Head Coach Bobbi Morgan called timeout and removed the captains, Goldbach and Cook, setting off a celebration on the bench that ultimately spilled out onto the court after the final buzzer.
Haverford will now await its destination in the 64-team NCAA Division III Women's Basketball Tournament, with the selection show streamed live on NCAA.com at 2:30 p.m. ET on Monday afternoon.
Last season, Haverford earned an at-large berth to the conference tournament, and competed on the campus of Randolph-Macon College in a first-round contest against Christopher Newport.