Women’s Basketball Wins 56-52 Nailbiter Over Haverford

The Swarthmore women’s basketball team (7-8, 4-6 CC) sure has a taste for dramatic finishes. In three straight Conference matchups, the outcome was determined in the final seconds. Last week, the Garnet picked up their second road victory of the season, defeating the Dickinson Red Devils (11-4, 7-4) 72-70 on a Ceylon Bodur ’11 layup with under five seconds remaining.

This past Saturday, the Garnet rallied from a 12 point deficit to tie the Ursinus Bears (7-8, 5-6) in Collegeville, PA, before falling on two Ursinus free-throws with three seconds remaining in regulation 66-64. But last night at Haverford (4-10, 2-8), the Garnet switched roles, watching a 16 point second half lead nearly evaporate before holding on to defeat the rival Fords 56-52, Swarthmore’s fifth straight victory over Haverford.

The Garnet held the Fords to 2-17 shooting from the field through the first ten minutes before both teams hit a barrage of threes on both ends of the floor. The Garnet used a 12-4 run late in the first half of play to extend their lead to 29-20 at the break.

Swat would continue to build on that momentum in the second half of play, extending their lead to 47-31 before the Fords went on a run of their own, slowly chipping away at the Garnet lead. Turnovers once again plagued the Garnet down the stretch, as Swarthmore turned the ball over on four straight possessions with Haverford only down single digits late in the game.

With just 46 seconds remaining, the Swarthmore lead was down to 54-52, and Haverford regained possession with the chance to tie or take the lead. But strong on-ball defense from Bodur forced Haverford freshman Nina Voith to overthrow a pass into her own bench. Kathryn Stockbower ’11 and Genny Pezzola ’12 combined to go 2-4 from the free-throw line to ice the game, 56-52.

Bodur led the Garnet with 15 points while Pezzola contributed 12 points off the bench. Stockbower, the Centennial Conference’s leading scorer and rebounder, contributed 10 points and 15 rebounds, her 55th career double-double. Pam Costello ’10 was also a key contributor in the Garnet win, posting seven points, seven rebounds, and five assists.

With the win and Washington College’s loss to Johns Hopkins on Wednesday, the Garnet leapfrogged the Shorewomen into eighth place in the Centennial Conference standings, still a game and a half out of the fifth and final playoff spot.

The Garnet return to action on Saturday, hosting the #24 Gettysburg Bullets, a team that defeated the Garnet on the road by just three points on January 6th. They conclude a mini two-game homestand on Monday against the Muhlenberg Mules.