WASHINGTON, D.C. --- The Moravian College men's basketball team fought back from a 12-point first half deficit to take a four-point lead in the second half at The Catholic University of America; however, the Greyhounds ended up falling to the Cardinals, 90-85, in Landmark Conference action Saturday.
Moravian, now 8-5 overall and 1-1 in Landmark Conference action, had three players in double figures, led by senior forward Oneil Holder, who netted 22 points to go along with five assists, four rebounds and two steals. Senior guard Jimmy Murray tossed in 17 points to go with five rebounds and four assists while junior guard Elijah Davis had 11 points with four boards and a pair of assists. Holder moved into seventh in school history with 1,365 points while Murray is now tenth all-time with 1,320 points.
Senior guard Nicholas Casazza contributed nine points on a trio of three-pointers to go with four rebounds and two assists while junior guard C.J. Barnes had a team-high seven rebounds to go with six points. Sophomore guard Keith Otto and freshman forward Steve Breeman each scored five points with Otto grabbing four rebounds and Breeman pulling down three boards. Sophomore guards Matt O'Connor and Shon Wilson each netted three-pointers with O'Connor adding three assists, and junior forwards John Hargraves and Addis Ralph both had two points. Senior guard Will Brazukas contributed five rebounds while junior guard Mike Martino dished out two assists.
The Greyhounds were 32-of-72 from the floor, 13-of-37 beyond the three-point line and 8-for-12 at the foul line while Catholic connected on 54 percent of its field goal attempts and tied a school record with 29 made free throws while going to the line 46 times. The Blue and Grey did have a 40-36 edge in rebounds and forced the Cardinals into 15 turnovers.
Catholic took an early 4-0 lead and had the advantage at 10 points, 15-5, just five and a half minutes into action. The Cardinals pushed the edge to 12 points twice before the Greyhounds started to close in. O'Connor hit a three-pointer at the 9:13 mark to bring the deficit to five points at 23-18, and a lay-up by Ralph put Moravian in front, 27-26, with 6:41 left in the first half. Ralph's basket capped a 7-0 run that saw Otto make a pair of free throws and a three-pointer in a span of 13 seconds before Ralph's shot.
Over the final 6:30 of the first half, the Hounds and Cardinals traded the lead 11 times with neither squad leading by more than four points. Catholic would connect on a pair of free throws in the final seconds to head to the locker room with a 45-42 lead.
Catholic opened up the scoring in the second half before Murray knotted the score at 47-47 with a three-pointer at the 16:55 mark. The Cardinals pulled back in front by eight points before Moravian chipped away again. Down by six points, Murray hit another three-pointer, and Holder added two free throws and a lay-up to give the Blue and Grey a 63-62 edge with 9:23 remaining. Holder would push the lead to four points at 68-64 with 7:42 on the clock but that would as far as the Hounds could pull away.
The Cardinals answered with a 10-0 run to build a 74-68 lead with 4:29 remaining, and eventually, Catholic had an 80-70 edge with 2:38 to go. Moravian fought back once again and cut the deficit to two points, 87-85, on a lay-up by Murray with seven seconds left before the Cardinals made 3-of-4 three throws to finish the contest.
The Hounds are scheduled to return to the hardwood on Wednesday, January 9 when the squad hosts No. 25 The University of Scranton in a Landmark Conference game tipping off at 7:00 p.m. in Johnston Hall.