COLLEGEVILLE, Pa. – Wednesday's men's basketball tilt against Ursinus and Haverford at Helfferich Hall resembled a heavyweight title fight.
Haverford landed the early punches, taking a seemingly insurmountable 17-point lead with 9:44 left in regulation. Ursinus fought back little-by-little, eventually forcing overtime on a three-pointer with 24 seconds left.
However, the Fords (5-4, 3-1 Centennial) outlasted the Bears (2-5, 1-3 Centennial) in the final portion of the extra frame in a 108-103 win for the visitors.
The game featured 24 three-pointers, including 17 by the Bears which was just one off the school and conference record held by Ursinus with 18 back in 2004. The two teams also combined for 79 foul shots attempted with Haverford sinking 37 of them.
Also in the game, several players set new career-highs in scoring led by Ursinus senior guard Matt Hilton (Lewistown, Pa./Lewistown Area) who hit for 40 points including a 7-for-10 performance from the three-point line. For Haverford, sophomore guard Cam Baker set a new career high with 30 points, one of four Fords in double figures. Junior guard Ian Goldberg hit for 30 points, with junior forward Bo Friddell scoring 23.
For Ursinus, sophomore forward Jon Ward (Allentown, Pa./Parkland) had 20 points with sophomore guard Matt Donahue (Mechanicsburg, Pa./Trinity) netting 20. Freshman guard Jesse Krasna (Fairless Hills, Pa./Pennsbury) missed his first collegiate triple-double, scoring nine points, grabbing ten rebounds and dishing out nine assists.
The big number for the Fords was steals as Haverford forced 27 Ursinus turnovers, resulting in 21 steals (eight alone for Baker) which led to 36 points.
The mighty comeback started slowly with a three-pointer by freshman guard Pat Vasturia (Medford, N.J./Bishop Eustace) with 7:43 left to cut the Ursinus deficit to 75-62. After a defensive stop, two foul shots by Krasna lowered the deficit to 11 at 75-64. Ursinus would hit eight of nine foul shots during the middle portion of the comeback.
After a jumper by Baker gave Haverford a 14 point lead, Hilton was fouled on a three-point attempt and sank all three to get the Bears back to within 11. Haverford rebuilt the lead to ten with 3:06 left on a foul shot by freshman guard Louis Cipriano to make the score 83-73. A Ward basket, followed by a Hilton three-pointer got Ursinus within five at 83-78 with 2:16 left.
Still, Haverford was able to get back up by seven with just 1:13 left on a three-pointer by Goldberg. But, Ursinus landed several punches in the final 73 seconds, starting with a three-pointer by senior guard J.J. Rapczynski (Chadds Ford, Pa./Garnet Valley) with 62 seconds left to get the deficit down to four. Friddell would hit one-of-two foul shots, putting the Fords up five.
On the next Ursinus possession, Hilton was fouled on a three-point attempt and again sank all three foul shots to get Ursinus within two at 89-87 with 40 seconds left. A quick foul by Rapczynski put Goldberg on the line, where he made one-of-two to give the Fords a 90-87 lead.
Hilton would then find a wide open Vasturia who sank the biggest shot of his career to date at Ursinus with 24 seconds left to deadlock the score at 90. A missed jumper by Goldberg with eight seconds left gave Ursinus the ball, but, Hilton could not get a shot off as he raced down the court.
In the overtime, Ursinus would force two ties but never take the lead. The Fords finally pulled away with 22 seconds left as Baker made two foul shots to go up 105-100, then later made 1-of-2 for a 106-100 edge. Hilton had one last gasp, as he made a three with 10 seconds left making the score 106-103. Baker would go back to the line, making two with six seconds left for the final margin.
Ursinus enjoyed a 41-29 edge in rebounds, with Krasna's ten a game-high. Ursinus had 14 offensive rebounds which led to 13 second chance points.
The Bears head to Dickinson for a 4 p.m. matchup on Saturday.