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Women's Basketball Outlasts Mighty Macs in Season Opener, 65-57

Anna-Sophia Capizzi
Anna-Sophia Capizzi
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IMMACULATA, Pa. - The Haverford College women's basketball team (1-0) began its 2019-20 season with a 65-57 victory over Immaculata (0-2) at Alumnae Hall on Tuesday night. Haverford used a 12-0 run in the second quarter to build a solid lead entering the halftime intermission, and held on despite late salvos from the Mighty Macs down the stretch. Senior Anna-Sophia Capizzi had a career-best 27 points for Haverford, adding a career-high eight rebounds and also matching a career best with four steals on a breakout night. The 27-point night for Capizzi matched the most points a Haverford player has put up in a single game since Nina Voith added 27 in a win over Muhlenberg in November of 2013.

Junior Julianna Clark added 11 points, while junior Raina Gully tallied four assists in a reserve role. Haverford shot 40 percent from beyond the arc, limiting the Mighty Macs to just 21 percent on three-point attempts. The Fords held a slight 33-29 edge in the rebounding battle. Immaculata had three scorers in double figures, led by Theresa Kearney who poured in 17. Kearney also had six rebounds to lead her squad. 

Immaculata began the contest on a 12-4 spurt, but Haverford quickly cut that gap to just three at 14-11 with just under four minutes to play in the first quarter. Capizzi scored six consecutive points for Haverford, converting on consecutive layups before sinking a pair at the free-throw line. Haverford later cut the Mighty Macs lead to just one at 19-18, as Capizzi drilled a three-pointer in the closing seconds of the first quarter. Clark then connected from beyond the arc to begin the second, giving Haverford its first lead of the night at 21-19 just two minutes into the quarter. The extended Fords run hit 10-0 as senior Megan Furch finished a layup, prompting an Immaculata timeout with 7:24 to play in the stanza. 

Capizzi was again there with a layup to cap the run at 12-0, and later buried a three-pointer to give Haverford a seven-point cushion with 3:26 remaining in the half. Sophomore Caroline Andersen battled down low to finish a layup as the lead hit nine with 2:50 to play before Capizzi again delivered on a three-pointer to stretch the lead to 10 entering the halftime intermission. 

In the early goings of the third, Capizzi knocked down her fourth trey of the night to give Haverford its largest lead of the contest. The Fords found themselves up 11 at 44-33 midway through the quarter. Immaculata rallied to cut that lead from its apex down to just four in the closing moments of the period, but Lauren Howard knocked down a three-pointer from well beyond the arc to send Haverford to the fourth up by seven at 51-44. 

The Mighty Macs did not go away, starting the fourth on a 4-0 jaunt to cut the Haverford lead down to just three with 6:05 to play, leading to a Fords timeout. Clark responded with back-to-back jumpers to give Haverford some breathing room before junior Nyla Robinson connected on a layup to again give Haverford a seven-point lead at 57-50. 

Hannah Zoll hit a layup with under two minutes to play, and then converted a pair at the line on the ensuing possession to extend the lead to nine. Haverford was then able to ice the game at the free-throw line, with Capizzi and Clark each sinking their shots in the final moments to send Haverford to victory. 

The Fords improve to 10-6 all time against the Mighty Macs, including wins in each of the last eight meetings dating back to the 2011 season. Haverford has now won its season-opening contest for the third straight year. 

Women's Basketball returns to action Friday at the 2019 Pablo Coto Tip-Off Classic on the Arlington, Va. campus of Marymount (Va.), a team receiving votes in the latest poll. The Fords face off with the host Saints on Friday, November 15 (7:30 p.m.)  before a November 16 contest against either Sage or Ferrum to wrap up tournament play. Saturday's game time is still to be determined.