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Hounds Run Past Virginia Wesleyan in First Day of 39th Steel Club Classic

Senior guard Nicholas Casazza dribbles up court versus Virginia Wesleyan University in 39th Steel Club Classic in Johnston Hall.
Senior guard Nicholas Casazza dribbles up court versus Virginia Wesleyan University in 39th Steel Club Classic in Johnston Hall.

BETHLEHEM, Pa. --- The Moravian College men's basketball team began the 39th Steel Club Classic with a 96-69 victory over Virginia Wesleyan University in Johnston Hall Sunday afternoon.

The Greyhounds, who are now 8-3 this winter, will play No. 2 Williams (Mass.) College on Monday, December 31 at 3:30 p.m. in the second day of the classic, which has a set schedule and no championship game.

Senior forward Oneil Holder led three Greyhounds in double figures with a game-high 25 points to go with two rebounds and two steals. Holder moved into eighth in school history with 1,328 points. Junior guard C.J. Barnes tossed in 15 points to go with six boards and a pair of steals while senior guard Nicholas Casazza added 11 points with three assists and two steals.

Senior guard Jimmy Murray and junior forward Addis Ralph each scored eight points with Murray contributing four rebounds and two assists and Ralph grabbing two boards. Senior guard Will Brazukas, junior guard Elijah Davis and sophomore guards Keith Otto and Matt O'Connor all scored six points with Brazukas adding five assists and four rebounds and Davis grabbing six boards. O'Connor and Otto both had two rebounds as well.

Junior forward John Hargraves contributed four points while sophomore guard Shon Wilson had one point and freshman forward Steve Breeman added five boards.

Moravian shot 31-of-60 from the floor and 17-of-26 beyond the three-point line to go along with a 17-for-25 performance at the foul line. The Hounds had a 38-35 edge on the boards and forced the Marlins into 13 turnovers while only committing 10 turnovers to go with 18 assists.

Hargraves opened the scoring on the Blue and Grey's first possession, and he followed it up with another basket for a 4-2 edge. After Virginia Wesleyan tied the game again at 4-4, Barnes connected on a three-pointer that would give Moravian the lead for good at 7-4 with 16:39 to play in the first half.

The Greyhounds slowly pulled away with the advantage hitting double digits at 31-19 on a three-pointer from Otto with 6:39 before the intermission. The edge reached 19 points, 42-23, on two free throws from Casazza with four minutes until halftime, and Moravian headed to the locker room with a 45-32 lead.

Murray hit a three-pointer four minutes into the second half as the lead reached 21 points, 57-36, and Otto pushed the advantage to 30 points, 93-63, with just under three minutes left in the contest.