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Greyhounds Late Rally Comes Up Short vs. Widener in Hoop MIA D3 Holiday Shootout

Oneil Holder '19 goes up for the opening tip-off versus Penn State-Lehigh Valley.
Oneil Holder '19 goes up for the opening tip-off versus Penn State-Lehigh Valley.

MIAMI, Fla. --- The Moravian College men's basketball team rallied from a 23-point deficit with just over 14 minutes to play to tie Widener University but the Pride would score seven of the game's final nine points to post a 78-73 victory over the Greyhounds in the opening game of the Hoop MIA D3 Holiday Shootout being hosted by Eastern University at Barry (Fla.) University.

The Greyhounds, who drop to 7-2 on the year, had two players in double figures with junior guard Jimmy Murray tossing in a team-high 17 points. Junior forward Oneil Holder picked up his second double-double of the season and the ninth of his career with 15 points and 14 rebounds in the contest.

Senior guard Matt Cardonne added nine points and three rebounds for the Blue and Grey while sophomore guard C.J. Barnes had seven points. Junior guards Will Brazukas and Nicholas Casazza and sophomore guard Elijah Davis all had six points with Brazukas adding three assists and two rebounds, Davis picking up three steals, two boards and a pair of assists and Casazza dishing out two assists. Freshman guard Keith Otto tossed in five points while sophomore guard Mike Martino had three rebounds and senior forward Khalil Rhett had two points.

Moravian connected on 27-of-61 field goal attempts in the game including 5-of-17 beyond the three-point line but the Greyhounds were unable to overtime Widener's 56.4 shooting percentage in the game. The Hounds were 14-of-18 at the foul line in the contest, and Moravian's pressure defense forced the Pride into 18 turnovers.

Widener scored the first four points of the game before Brazukas hit a jumper in the paint to get the Blue and Grey on the scoreboard. The Pride worked the lead to double digits at 21-11 but Moravian closed within six points, 23-17, after a lay-up from Cardonne with 9:19 left in the first half. The Pride would extend the advantage again and head to the locker room with a 43-30 edge.

Widener started the second half with a 21-11 run to build a 64-41 lead with 13:56 remaining, and the Pride was still ahead by 19 points, 71-53, with 8:45 to play. Cardonne started a 19-0 run by Moravian 15 seconds later with a three-pointer. Holder then hit a lay-up and Casazza drained a three-pointer to get the Hounds within 11 points. Another trey by Cardonne closed the gap to single digits and a three-point play by Casazza and two free throws by Holder had Moravian down by three points. Murray hit a shot jumper and followed with the free throw to complete the three-point play and knot the score at 71-71 with 4:21 to go.

The Pride answered with six straight points before Holder scored Moravian's final basket of the game.

The Greyhounds are scheduled to return to action on Tuesday, December 19 with a game versus host Eastern at the Hoop MIA D3 Holiday Shootout with tip-off slated for 6:00 p.m. at Barry University.