BETHLEHEM, Pa. --- The Moravian College men's basketball team trailed visiting William Paterson (N.J.) University by 14 points, 27-13, after 12 minutes of action but the Greyhounds would outscore the Pioneers 62-36 over the final 28 minutes to post a 73-61 non-conference victory in Johnston Hall Wednesday evening.
"We didn't have the greatest start but we stuck with our game plan and started turning things around midway through the first half," stated first-year Head Coach Shawn Postiglione. "We turned up the defense and started doing the little things right, and that led to good looks on the offense end where he hit some key baskets. We were able to keep a good William Paterson team off balance, especially in the second half, which is a good sign for us after they beat The University of Scranton last week. We're continuing to improve with each day, and games like this will help build up the confidence of everyone in the program."
The Hounds, who improved to 3-2 with the win, had three players in double figures led by junior forward John Rigsby, who netted a career-high 14 points to go with six rebounds and a pair of assists. Junior guard Matt O'Connor tossed in 12 points to go along with a career-best seven rebounds and three assists while junior guard Keith Otto had 11 points.
Senior guard C.J. Barnes tossed in nine points to go with eight boards while senior forward John Hargraves pulled down a career-high 12 rebounds to help Moravian post a 49-42 edge on the glass, and Hargraves also had eight points and two assists. Senior guard Mike Martino contributed six points, five rebounds, three assists and a pair of steals while senior forward Addis Ralph had six points and four boards. Freshman guard Greg Eck added four points, two assists and two steals while junior guard Nick King had two points and three boards.
The Pioneers opened up an early 4-0 lead before Otto connected on a three-pointer. William Paterson pushed its lead to 10-3 before a lay-up on an offensive rebound by Ralph made it 10-5. The Pioneers would slowly extend their lead, pushing it to the 14-point edge of 25-11 with 9:14 until the intermission. Rigsby hit two free throws and William Paterson countered with two free throws to get back ahead by 14. Ralph hit a jumper at the 8:08 mark to start a 14-0 run by the Greyhounds to knot the score at 27-27 on a jumper by O'Connor three minutes later. The Pioneers countered with a 6-0 run and would head to the locker room with a 36-34 edge.
Otto opened the second half with a three-pointer as the Blue and Grey moved ahead for the first time in the game at 37-36 but William Paterson answered to take a 39-37 lead. Ralph tied the game for the third time at 39-39 at the 17:12 mark, and a three-pointer from Rigsby would give the Hounds the lead for good at 42-39 with 14:40 left. Holding onto a slim 50-46 lead with 9:16 remaining, the Greyhounds put together a 10-0 run to move ahead 60-46 with 6:30 to go. The advantage would stay in double digits for the rest of the game, reaching a high of 15 points, 72-57, on a pair of free throws by Barnes with 1:36 on the clock.
Moravian is scheduled to return to action on Tuesday, November 26 when the squad head to Center Valley to play DeSales University in a non-conference contest tipping off at 8:00 p.m. The game will be telecast live by TV-2 Sports.