BETHLEHEM, Pa. --- Moravian College is continuing its look back at its 2017-18 athletic campaign. The next event in the Top 10 Exciting Games from the past year selected by the athletic administration is our No. 4 highlight – the men's basketball team's 96-91 overtime win over Drew University in the Landmark Conference Semifinals.
The Greyhounds, who finished the year at 20-8 overall and 10-4 in Landmark Conference action, hosted the Rangers in Johnston Hall in the opening round of the Landmark Tournament on Wednesday, February 21, and with the victory, second seeded Moravian moved onto the Landmark Conference Championship game for the second consecutive winter.
The contest would be a back-and-forth affair with the Hounds leading early, 11-9, before Drew ran out to a 17-11 advantage. The Blue and Grey answered to go ahead 22-19 and eventually push the lead to 37-26 before heading to the locker room with a 41-34 halftime advantage. Moravian was up by 10 points, 48-38, early in the second half only to see the Rangers come back and knot the score at 57-57. The Greyhounds moved back in front, 71-64, and led by six points with under a minute to play before Drew tied the game at 81-81 with 4.3 seconds left. Moravian netted the first five points of the overtime session to build a lead it wouldn't relinquish.
The Greyhounds had four players in the victory led by junior guard Jimmy Murray, who scored 24 points to go with three steals, two blocked shots and two rebounds. Murray also broke Ryan Miller's '08 school record of 160 career three-pointers during the contest. Sophomore forward C.J. Barnes netted in 20 points to go with seven rebounds, and he went 4-for-4 at the foul line in the 13 seconds of overtime to seal the win. Junior guard Nicholas Casazza contributed 18 points and five rebounds while junior forward Oneil Holder scored 12 points to go with nine rebounds, three assists, three blocked shots and two steals.
Senior forward Khalil Rhett had six points, four rebounds and a pair of assists while sophomore guard Mike Martino added six points, three boards, two assists and two steals. Junior guard Will Brazukas dished out five assists to go with three points while senior guard Matt Cardonne and sophomore guard Elijah Davis each contributed three rebounds and two points. Freshman guard Shon Wilson also scored two points while sophomore forward Addis Ralph had a point and a rebound.
The Greyhounds made 34-of-71 field goal attempts in the game, 10-of-25 three-pointers and 18-of-28 free throw attempts, and the Hounds' 10 three-pointers gave the Blue and Grey a school record 301 for the season. Moravian's pressure defense forced the Rangers into 23 turnovers in the contest.
"This was a high level game by both teams," stated Head Coach Justin Potts. "Players on each side made several big plays and competed for 40 minutes plus. The environment in Johnston Hall was critical for us finding a way to win. It reminded me a lot of the Susquehanna playoff game the year before. I believe our guys really feed off the crowd and used that energy to find a way to win.
"Our guys did a great job of staying with things...Drew made a shot to send it to OT and we were in foul trouble but guys stepped up and once again our depth really helped us as our bench outscored Drew's 46-7," continued Potts. "Looking back on it now, I think Jimmy Murray's overtime was really impressive. Jimmy carried us on offense and made some really big time plays.
"I think for all the people that attended this game it will be a great memory of Moravian Basketball. This game is one that as a coach I will remember for a long time. I was just really proud of how we competed and the belief that our guys had for the whole game. Any playoff win is special but I think the OT factor made this one just a little more memorable," finished Potts.
Read the original game story at http://moraviansports.com/sports/mbkb/2017-18/releases/20180221y831ai with links to stats, photos and video.
The number three highlight in the Top 10 Exciting Games of 2017-18 will be released on Monday, June 25.