HAVERFORD, Pa. – The Haverford College men's basketball team saw all five of its starters reach double figures in a 94-88 overtime victory against Ursinus to start off Centennial Conference play on Tuesday night. The Fords' (4-1, 1-0 CC) win was their first against the Bears (4-2, 1-0 CC) since the 2014-15 season. Haverford's four victories over its first five games is the team's best start since the 1976-77 men's basketball team, which was led by All-American Dick Voith '77 and won seven straight to start that campaign.
Jesse Turkson led all scorers with a career-high 26 points while coming down with eight rebounds. Jonathan Lang (17 points), Joe Wujciak (15 points), Jackson Ryan (12 points), and Jack Cork (11 points) also reached double figures from their spot in the starting lineup. Even with the starters racking up the points, Haverford's bench also outscored the Bears by a point. Reigning Centennial Conference Player of the Week Ryan Hughes finished with 27 points and nine rebounds to lead Ursinus' efforts.
Haverford's victory was another come-from-behind effort as the Bears led for nearly 36 of the game's 45 minutes. Nevertheless, Haverford kept battling and was holding onto the lead when it mattered most. Playing catch up almost the entire night, Ursinus scored the opening points and never surrendered that lead during the entire first half as the Bears led by as many as 11 points, 19-8, midway through the opening period.
With the Bears ahead 35-28 at the half, that margin grew to 10 points with just three minutes gone by in the second. However, the Fords began to inch their way back into the contest with back-to-back baskets from Cork. Josh Love and Lang also knocked down three-pointers during that 14-4 run which knotted the game at 48-all with just under 13 minutes remaining. Ursinus countered the run with a triple of its own and the Bears would not trail or be tied again until there was 1:47 remaining in regulation. The visitors had built their lead up to six with under three minutes remaining, but three-pointers in back-to-back possessions from Wujciak and Ryan knotted the score at 76-all.
Points from Jesse Turkson twice gave Haverford the lead in the final minute, but each time those Haverford advantages were nullified by Ursinus making trips to the free throw line. The Fords used the free throw line to their advantage in overtime session right from the start as Ryan drew an offensive charge to foul out Ryan McTamney just 15 seconds into the extra session. Just one possession later, Turkson knocked down a triple of his own to start a 7-0 Haverford run which also featured baskets from Turkson and Wujciak.
Leading 89-82 with 1:12 remaining in the extra period, Haverford secured the win by knocking down 5-of-6 at the charity stripe during the final minute with the Bears in desperation mode. Although it was the Bears who forced the overtime session at the free throw line, Haverford had the upper hand at the charity stripe throughout the night as the Fords converted 27 of their 32 attempts at the line. Ursinus finished with two more field goals in the contest, but the Fords made up for that with eight three-pointers on the night, as Lang, Ryan, and Wujciak all connected on multiple attempts from distance.
Starting off the conference slate 1-0 in its home gym, the Fords will now head out on the road for a pair of conference clashes after the Thanksgiving Break as Haverford travels to Franklin & Marshall next Wednesday, December 4 for an 8 p.m. start in Lancaster before a 4 p.m. tip at Dickinson that Saturday, December 7.