Murray's Late Free Throw Give Hounds a 103-101 Overtime Win Over Catholic

Jimmy Murray '19 looks to drive to the basket in the first half versus Catholic University.
Jimmy Murray '19 looks to drive to the basket in the first half versus Catholic University.

BETHLEHEM, Pa. --- Junior guard Jimmy Murray netted a pair of free throws with five seconds left in overtime and a last second steal by sophomore guard Mike Martino sealed a 103-101 overtime victory for the Moravian College men's basketball team over visiting The Catholic University of America in Landmark Conference action Saturday afternoon in Johnston Hall.

"Today was a great college basketball game with two good teams," stated Head Coach Justin Potts. "I was really proud of our effort and perseverance. Our guys competed and we got contributions from several guys over the course of the game. The environment in Johnston Hall was great and I think our guys feed off that. It was a great team win."

The Hounds, who are now 11-4 overall and 3-1 in Landmark Conference play, hit triple figures for the second straight Saturday afternoon at Johnston Hall. Murray led four players in double figures with 28 points including eight three-pointers, one shy of the individual school record, as Moravian connected on a school-record 22 treys in the game, going 22-of-37 beyond the three-point arc, and Murray had four assists, three rebounds and a pair of blocked shots. Junior forward Oneil Holder added 21 points, nine rebounds and five assists while junior guard Nicholas Casazza netted 15 points on five three-pointers. Sophomore forward C.J. Barnes contributed 13 points and seven rebounds for Moravian.

Senior guard Matt Cardonne hit two three-pointers and had a total of seven points while freshman guard Matt O'Connor tossed in a pair of three-pointers for six points. Junior guard Will Brazukas had five points and seven assists for the Blue and Grey while senior forward Khalil Rhett had six rebounds, four assists and a pair of steals. Sophomore forward Addis Ralph had two points while Martino dished out seven assists to go with two assists, two steals and a point and sophomore guard Elijah Davis had one point.

Both teams shot over 50 percent from the floor in the game with the Greyhounds going 34-for-64 from the field as well as 13-of-19 free throw attempts. Moravian, which overcame a 12-point first half deficit, grabbed 33 rebounds in the win and forced Catholic into 12 turnovers. The Greyhounds' 22 three-pointers were four more than the previous mark of 18 the program netted against The United States Merchant Marine Academy in 2013 and DeSales University in 2016.

The Cardinals scored the opening points of the afternoon before a pair of free throws from Barnes got Moravian on the scoreboard. Ralph hit a lay-up to give the Greyhounds a 7-3 lead with 16:33 left in the first half before the Cardinals scored 10 straight points to build a 13-7 advantage just over five minutes into action. Catholic pushed the lead to double digits at 27-16 with 11 minutes remaining in the opening half, and the Cardinals had a 32-20 edge with 8:34 before the intermission.

Murray would hit back-to-back-to-back three-pointers to knot the score at 36-36 with 3:09 showing on the clock, and a free throw by Cardonne had Moravian back in the lead. Catholic retook the advantage but the Greyhounds would head to the locker room with a 46-42 edge after a three-pointer by Holder with 23 seconds before the intermission.

Holder opened the second half with a lay-up and Barnes followed with a three-pointer as Moravian opened its biggest lead of the afternoon at 51-42 just a minute into the second half. The Cardinals answered with eight straight points to cut the Blue and Grey's edge to a point before a three-pointer by Casazza. Catholic retook a three-point lead but Casazza had the Greyhounds up 65-59 with 11:48 to play.

Catholic came back and took a 78-77 lead with five minutes left in regulation while another three-pointer by Murray, his eighth of the afternoon and the 19th by the squad to break the single game record, had Moravian up 83-80 at the 3:33 mark.  The Hounds pushed the lead to six points, 91-85, with 1:27 to play but the Cardinals scored the final six points of regulation to tie the contest. Murray drove down the court but was unable to get a shot off to beat the buzzer.

It took over a minute for either team to score in the extra session with Catholic getting the first point on a free throw before a three-pointer by Holder had Moravian leading 94-92 with 3:31 left. Barnes had another three-pointer for a 97-94 edge before Catholic took a pair of one-point leads. Holder hit a free throw with 38 seconds left to knot the score at 101-101 while Murray would hit the winning free throws with five seconds left.

Moravian is scheduled to return to action on Wednesday, January 17 when the squad hosts The University of Scranton in a Landmark Conference game beginning at 7:00 p.m. in Johnston Hall.