BETHLEHEM, Pa. --- The Moravian College men's basketball team opened the 2019-20 season with a tough 95-87 loss to rival Muhlenberg College in Johnson Hall Friday evening in the first contest under new Head Coach Shawn Postiglione.
The Greyhounds had five players in double figures led by junior guard Matt O'Connor, who netted a career-high 21 points to go with four assists. Senior forward John Hargraves and senior guard C.J. Barnes each scored 14 points with Hargraves adding four rebounds and Barnes grabbing three boards. Junior guard Nick King contributed 13 points, two rebounds and a pair of assists in his first game with the Hounds while senior forward Addis Ralph had 11 points, a team-high six rebounds, two assists and two blocked shots.
Junior forward John Rigsby contributed nine points, three rebounds and a pair of steals in his first contest with the Blue and Grey while freshman guard Greg Eck had five points and two boards in his first collegiate game. Senior guard Mike Martino led Moravian with six assists and three steals to go with three rebounds.
Hargraves, whose 14 points were a career-high, opened the scoring for the season to give the Hounds a quick 2-0, and Moravian had a 19-15 lead with 14:37 left in the first half after a three-pointer by Barnes. King had the edge back at four points, 23-19, with a lay-up at the 11:34 mark before the Mules closed the game. A three-pointer from Ralph knotted the score at 35-35 with 6:27 until the intermission; however, Muhlenberg scored 11 of the next 13 points to take a 48-37 lead at the 3:07 mark. Ralph hit another three-pointer to cut it to a five-point game, 50-45, a minute and a half later but the Mules would head to the locker room with a 56-49 advantage.
Moravian scored the first eight points of the second half on two baskets from Hargraves and one each from O'Connor and King with Hargraves' second make giving Moravian a 57-56 edge two minutes into the half. The Mules answered with a 10-point run to go up 66-57 before the Greyhounds closed within a point, 71-70 on a jumper by Ralph with 9:30 to play. After Muhlenberg pushed the lead back to eight points, a three-pointer by O'Connor made it a one-point game again at 86-85 with 3:07 remaining. Muhlenberg scored the next eight points before a lay-up from Eck with 13 seconds left ended the run.
Moravian is slated to return to action on Monday, November 11 when the squad hosts the College of Mount Saint Vincent in a non-conference game beginning at 7:00 p.m. in Johnston Hall.