BETHLEHEM, Pa. --- Moravian College is continuing its look back at its 2017-18 athletic campaign. The final event in the Top 10 Exciting Games from the past year selected by the athletic administration is our No. 1 highlight – the men's basketball squad rallying to post an 81-78 win at Juniata College to win the 2018 Landmark Conference Championship.
The Greyhounds, who have their second contest on the countdown, captured the program's first-ever Landmark Conference title and the squad's first-ever automatic berth to the NCAA Division III Tournament. The win was the 20th of the season for the Hounds, the first time the program has reached 20 victories in a season in the 81-year history of men's basketball at Moravian. The NCAA berth was the third for the program and first since 2008.
On Saturday, February 24, the Greyhounds played in Huntingdon for Moravian's second straight trip to the Landmark Conference championship game after heading to Scranton a year ago. The Blue and Grey headed out of town the night before the contest and had a morning shootaround at Juniata before the game.
After scoring first, Moravian fell behind the Eagles by eight points before rebounding to knot the score at 18-18. Juniata moved back in front and held a 39-34 advantage at halftime. Early in the second half, the Blue and Grey would go on another run and knot the score at 41-41. With the game remaining close, the Greyhounds would regain the lead, 57-56, with 10:23 on a three-pointer from junior forward Oneil Holder.
Juniata answered for a 67-61 edge with just over six minutes to play before Holder helped Moravian retake the edge, 74-73, on two free throws with two and a half minutes remaining. The Greyhounds hit 7-of-8 free throws in the final 30 seconds to take a lead they wouldn't relinquish. Junior guard Will Brazukas made the first two free throws to put Moravian ahead, 76-75, before sophomore forward C.J. Barnes connected on three free throws and junior guard Jimmy Murray sealed the win with a pair of free throws with just 1.2 seconds left.
Holder led the Hounds with 28 points and five rebounds while being selected as the Landmark Conference Championship Most Valuable Player. Junior guard Nicholas Casazza tossed in 10 points while Barnes had nine points. Murray and Brazukas each finished with eight points while Brazukas dished out four assists.
"I think we were able to get the win because of our depth," stated Head Coach Justin Potts. "We played multiple guys all season and it really puts a strain on our opponents when our players have fresh legs late in games. Oneil made some big plays at Juniata, and the guys just kept believing we would win. We talked about being in the moment and having some experience after last year's loss at Scranton, which I think helped in the end. This is a victory not only for these guys but everyone that has ever worn the Moravian basketball uniform. We had great support all year in Johnston Hall, and we had great support in Huntingdon for the Championship game. I was a special moment for Greyhound basketball."
Read the original game story at http://moraviansports.com/sports/mbkb/2017-18/releases/20180224ralxty with links to stats, photos and video.
Moravian will begin looking at the Top 10 Stories of 2017-18 on Friday, July 6.