HAVERFORD, Pa. – Behind a balanced scoring attack, the Ursinus Men's Basketball team once again used a strong second half to defeat Haverford 87-69 on the road on Thursday night in Centennial Conference play.
With the win, the Bears earn their second win in three days as they improved to 8-3 overall and 5-1 in Centennial Conference action. Meanwhile, the Fords fall to 7-7 overall and 3-4 in conference play.
Five Bears finished in double figures for scoring on the evening, led by senior Ryan Hughes with a game-high 20 points on 7-of-12 shooting. Hughes has now scored 20 or more points in five of his last six contests and added five rebounds along with three assists. Sophomore Trevor Wall posted 12 points with 10 coming in the first half and dished out six assists. Freshman Jaiden Jakubowski recorded 12 points off the bench behind four three-pointers and grabbed five rebounds in the win. Classmate Sean Neylon added 11 points, a career-high seven assists, and four rebounds while senior Peyton Vostenak matched his 11 points behind three triples. Freshman Cole Grubbs hauled down a game-high 14 rebounds and posted eight points behind shooting 4-of-7 from the field.
The Fords started quick as they jumped out to an early 7-2 lead in the opening 2:44 of the contest and eventually extended it to 13-7 after making back-to-back three-pointers. Ursinus used a 9-3 burst to tie the contest at 16 at the 12:19-mark before tying the contest at 21 just under two minutes later following a three-pointer from Jakubowski. Neylon put the Bears back in front for the first time since leading 2-0 at 23-21 with 10:01 remaining in the first half and the teams traded points to leave the score tied at 25. Ursinus ripped off five-straight points to go up 30-25 which was their largest lead of the first half. The Bears were able to maintain a lead for the remainder of the first half behind Hughes and junior Kyle Maurer combining for the final 13 points. Maurer gave Ursinus some breathing room just before the half after drilling a three-pointer with seven seconds left.
Ursinus came out of the locker room scorching hot to start the second half as they made their first four shots to take a 52-37 advantage at the 17:04-mark. Three of the first four shots were three-pointers tallied by three different Bears. Haverford ended the run with six-straight points of their own to cut the deficit down to 52-43 at the 15:14-mark, but Jakubowski responded with a three-pointer of his own to put the Bears back up 55-43. Jakubowski continued to stay hot from beyond the arc as another three-pointer gave Ursinus a 60-46 advantage at the 12:48-mark of the second half. Behind consistent scoring, the Bears maintained a double-digit advantage for the remainder of the second half and grew its lead as large as 20 points on two separate occasions. Ursinus put the game out of reach with an 11-5 run to go up 71-51 at the 6:52-mark following a three-pointer from Vostenak.
The Bears shot an efficient 52.4 percent (33-of-63) from the field and went 13-of-29 (44.8%) from beyond the arc. Ursinus shot 8-of-10 (80%) from the free throw line and the teams each finished with 37 rebounds. The Bears tempo helped keep the Fords off balanced as they held a sizable 23-5 edge in fast break points. Meanwhile, the Fords shot 38.1 percent (24-of-63) from the field and 40.9 percent (9-of-22) from three-point range. Haverford went 12-of-18 (66.7%) from the free throw line and held a slight 12-9 edge in second chance points.
Haverford saw four of its five starters reach double-figures for scoring, led by Nicholas Stewart with 13 points on 5-of-8 shooting from the field. Nate Torres added 12 points and a team-high eight rebounds while Jackson Ryan matched him with 12 points.
The Bears return to action on Saturday, January 15th as they will host No. 12 Johns Hopkins at 2 p.m.