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Hounds Extend Winning Streak to Seven with Come-from-Behind Win at Muhlenberg

Senior Oneil Holder dribbles towards the hoop at Muhlenberg College.
Senior Oneil Holder dribbles towards the hoop at Muhlenberg College.

ALLENTOWN, Pa. --- The Moravian College men's basketball team saw a 10-point first half lead become a nine-point second half deficit before the Greyhounds rallied for a 79-75 non-conference victory over rival Muhlenberg College Saturday as the Hounds extended their winning streak to seven games.

"I thought our experience helped us today," stated Head Coach Justin Potts. "They're a good time and have some young guys that are still figuring some things out. They did a good job in the second half of taking some stuff away. I think our pressure ended up wearing them down in the end of the game, which really helped us in the last two or three minutes. Our guys fought. One of the things I love about them is they're going to compete for 40 minutes. They stayed with it and found a way to get a win here in Allentown.

Moravian, now 7-2 on the season, had three players in double figures led by senior forward Oneil Holder, who had his third double-double of the season and 15th of his career as he posted 26 points and 11 boards to go with four assists. Senior guard Jimmy Murray tossed in 23 points and added three rebounds and two assists while junior guard Elijah Davis had 11 points and two boards.

Junior guard C.J. Barnes contributed seven rebounds, six points and a pair of steals while senior guard Nicholas Casazza tossed in five free throws to go with two boards. Freshman forward Steve Breeman added five rebounds and four points while junior forward John Hargraves and sophomore guard Matt O'Connor each had two points with Hargraves grabbing two boards. Senior guard Will Brazukas and sophomore guard Keith Otto each had three rebounds while junior guard Mike Martino added two boards.

The Greyhounds were 24-for-64 from the floor but just 9-for-31 in the second half, and the squad went 8-for-22 beyond the three-point line and 23-for-30 at the foul line. The Blue and Grey posted a 42-37 edge in rebounds and forced the Mules into 14 turnovers while only committing 10 miscues.

Murray opened the scoring with a lay-up, and a three-pointer from Davis had the Hounds leading 5-2 early on. Muhlenberg scored five straight for a 7-2 lead and the teams would trade the lead or be tied through the first 12 minutes as the Mules has a 20-19 edge at the 7:57 mark. At that point, Moravian went on an 11-0 run with two three-pointers from Murray and a three-pointer and jumper by Holder to take a 30-20 lead with six minutes before the intermission. Muhlenberg slowly cut in the lead but the Blue and Grey still had a 42-37 advantage as the teams headed to the locker room for the intermission.

The Mules netted the first six points of the second half to move back in front, 43-42 before a lay-up from Davis put Moravian on the board. The teams would go back to trading the lead or being tied until two free throws by Murray and a lay-up by Davis had the Hounds up 58-56 with 10:23 remaining. Muhlenberg put together an 11-0 run to take a 67-58 lead with 6:26 to go but the Greyhounds answered with an 8-0 run as Davis hit a lay-up after a steal to pull the Hounds within one, 67-66 at the 4:34 mark.

Murray would tie the contest for the 14th time at 68-68 40 seconds later, and after two more ties, the Blue and Grey would take the lead for good on a three-point player by Holder at the 1:37 mark for a 75-72 edge. Murray would add two more free throws while Holder and Casazza each hit once from the charity stripe to seal the win, the fourth time in the seven-game winning streak that the Hounds have rallied from at least seven points down.

Moravian is slated to return to the court on Wednesday, December 19 in a non-conference game at Yeshiva University in New York City with tip-off set for 8:00 p.m.