HAVERFORD, Pa. – The Haverford College men's basketball team got its 2019-20 season off on a positive note as the Fords defeated Lebanon Valley 77-72 in the team's home opener. The win marked the second straight season during which the Fords opened up with a home victory. Haverford got the opening points of the year on a free throw from Jonathan Lang and never trailed the entire night. The Fords led by as many as 15 points midway through the second half before holding off a late surge from the Dutchmen.
Every player who took a shot from the field recorded a basket for the Fords as 10 different players found their way into the scoring column. Joe Hartman and Jesse Turkson led the Fords with 13 and 10 points, respectively, while Michael Wiper and first-years Nate Torres and Ryan Trotter all finished with nine points. Turkson's effort was part of a double-double as he also pulled down 13 rebounds. Justin Baker and Jeremy Deihm led LVC with a combined 45 points but it was not enough to overcome Haverford's balanced effort.
Haverford's defense forced Lebanon Valley into 20 turnovers on the night as the Fords came up with 14 steals. Hartman's seven steals led that showing which resulted in 23 points off of turnovers for the Fords, including 14 on the fast break. Haverford got the early lead by scoring the first eight points of the night and never looked back. The Dutchmen needed nearly four minutes before breaking onto the scoreboard. The opening lead shrank down to two points with seven minutes remaining in the opening half before an 11-2 Haverford run was capped by Grayson Roth's triple to set the score at 28-19.
The Fords took a 34-28 lead into the halftime break and stretched the lead to 12 with the first six points of the second half. The lead stayed right around 10 points until Hartman got on the fast break following a steal from Turkson. Charlie Mamlin followed that up with the first triple of his career to give the Fords their largest lead of the night, 57-42, with 11:13 to play. The hosts led by 10 points, 68-58, with less than five minutes to play before the Dutchmen's late run.
Despite the relatively tight score at the final buzzer, Lebanon Valley only had its deficit down to a one possession game once following a pair of free throws. Nevertheless, Trotter came back with a free throw of his own and added two more later in the eventual 77-72 victory.
Haverford's defense did not allow a basket from beyond the arc as the Dutchmen were 0-for-8 in that department. After a tough opening half at the line, the Fords made 14 of their 19 free throw attempts during the second half to help sustain their lead. Trotter scored seven of his nine points at the line while classmate Torres was 5-for-6 at the charity stripe. The Fords also passed the ball efficiently as 18 of their 26 baskets were assisted. Seven different players dished out multiple dimes, led by Trotter's four assists.
With the first win of the season under its belt, men's basketball will head out on the road for a pair of games next week. The Fords will make the quick trip to Rosemont next Wednesday in a 7 p.m. start before trekking to Penn State-Harrisburg next Saturday for a 1 p.m. scheduled start.