Poarch Scores Career-High and Game-Best 28 Points
SWARTHMORE, PA – Host Swarthmore outscored visiting Washington College, 12-7, in the final 1:48 to break a 75-75 tie en route to an 87-82 win on Wednesday night at Tarble Pavilion in Centennial Conference men's basketball action. The Garnet improves to 1-6 overall and 1-3 in the conference, while the Shoremen drop to 0-6 and 0-4 respectively.
With the score tied at 75-75 following a layup by Washington sophomore guard Stephen Poarch (Middletown, DE/Sanford School) with 2:23 left in the second half, Swarthmore took the lead for good with 1:48 left on a Seth Liebert layup to put the hosts ahead 77-75. After a miss by the Shoremen, the Garnet missed the initial shot, but Joe Keedy got the rebound, scored a layup to make it 79-75 and was fouled. He went to the line and made the free throw to make it 80-75 with 34 seconds to go. After sophomore guard John Weston (Tampa, FL/Bolles School) made a three-pointer with 25 ticks left to cut it to 80-78, Jay Kober of Swarthmore was fouled a second later and made the first to increase the lead to 81-78. He missed the second, but Keedy got the offensive round and found Karl Barkley who was fouled. Barkley made both from the line to increase the lead to 83-78 with 22 seconds remaining. Weston was fouled and made both from the foul line with 17 ticks left to cut the lead to 83-80. After Barkley was fouled, he made one free throw to push the lead to 84-80 with 15 seconds left. WC would miss two chances on its next possession and Barkley grabbed the rebound off the second miss and was fouled. He drained one free throw to increase the cushion to 85-80 with four seconds remaining. The Shoremen made two free throws and the Garnet sank one from the charity stripe to provide the final margin.
Swarthmore led 8-6 with 16:38 to go in the first half following a three-pointer by Keedy when Washington scored seven unanswered points to take a 13-8 just 57 seconds later on triple by senior forward Charlie McShane (West Deptford, NJ/West Deptford). After the Garnet made back-to-back baskets to trim it to 13-12 with 14:33 remaining in the opening half, Poarch responded with consecutive buckets to make it 17-12 with 13:45 left in the half. The Garnet trimmed the Shoremen's lead to 22-21 with 12:17 left in the opening 20 minutes on a traditional three-point play by Liebert before Washington hit Swarthmore with an 11-5 run to take a 33-26 lead with 9:07 to go in the first half on a Poarch free throw. However, the Garnet closed out the half on an 18-9 run, including the final seven points of the half, to take a 44-42 lead. Liebert's layup with 36 seconds left snapped a 42-42 tie and put Swarthmore ahead for the first time since 8-6 with 16:38 to go in the first half. WC shot 59% in the first half, while Swarthmore shot 50%.
Swarthmore led 48-44 with 17:03 left in the second half following a Keedy layup when WC went on a 15-4 run to take a 59-52 lead with 12:10 to go in the game on a senior guard Wes Bill (Blue Bell, PA/Germantown Friends) make from behind the arc. The Shoremen took their first lead of the half on a Poarch three-pointer to put the guests up 51-50 with 14:37 left in the game. After two Garnet misses, junior guard Kevin Cunningham (Mt. Laurel, NJ/Lenape) converted a layup to put Washington up 53-50 with 13:54 remaining. After two free throws by Swarthmore's Will Gates cut the lead to 53-52 with 13:36 to go, Poarch and Bill connected on back-to-back three-pointers to close out the run leading to a Garnet timeout after Bill's long range basket.
Swarthmore responded with a 9-2 run to tie the game at 63-63 with 8:09 remaining in the game on a pair of Barkley free throws. During the run, the Garnet scored six of the 11 points from the charity stripe. After Poarch hit two free throws to give WC the lead back at 65-63 with 7:41 to go, Swarthmore scored six straight points to take a 69-65 lead with 6:27 remaining on a Liebert lay-in.
Washington would draw back even, 73-73, with 3:24 to go in the second half on two free throws by Weston. Gates put the Garnet up 75-73 on a jumper with 2:30 to go before Poarch responded just seven seconds later on a layup to even the game at 75-75.
Liebert scored a team-high 24 points off the bench for Swarthmore on 9-for-13 shooting from the floor and 6-for-7 from the line, while handing out eight assists to lead all players. Keedy had 18 points and grabbed a game-best 10 rebounds to record a double-double. Kober added 13 points, while Gates chipped in with 12. Swarthmore shot 52% from the floor (27-for-52), 38% from three-point land (3-for-8) and 73% from the line (30-for-41). Swarthmore, who held a 36-29 edge on the boards, outscored Washington off the bench, 44-18, and points in the paint, 38-20.
Poarch scored a career-best 28 points for the Shoremen on 9-for-14 shooting. Cunningham added 11 points, while Weston chipped in with 10 points. Sophomore guard Sean Flanigan (Wilmington, DE/St. Mark's) had three steals, tying his career-high, to lead all players. WC shot 51% from the floor (28-for-55), 50% from three-point range (11-for-22) and 58% from the charity stripe (15-for-26).
Each side had 15 turnovers, with WC holding a slim 18-15 edge in points off of turnovers.
Washington is back at home on Saturday with a 4:00 p.m. game against visiting McDaniel in conference action. During halftime, in celebration of the team's 100th anniversary, returning alumni players and former coaches will be recognized.