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Moravian Falls to Yeshiva in Back-and-Forth Contest

Junior guard Nick King drives to the basket in the second half versus Yeshiva University in Johnston Hall.
Junior guard Nick King drives to the basket in the second half versus Yeshiva University in Johnston Hall.

BETHLEHEM, Pa. --- The Moravian College men's basketball team fell to visiting Yeshiva (N.Y.) University, 85-78, in non-conference action Thursday evening in Johnston Hall in a back-and-forth contest that saw nine ties and 19 lead changes.

The Greyhounds, now 5-4 on the year, had six players score in double figures led by junior guard Matt O'Connor, who tossed in 15 points to go with five rebounds and five assists. Junior guard Nick King netted a career-high 14 points to go along with three boards and two steals while senior guard C.J. Barnes had 13 points, four rebounds and three assists. Freshman guard Greg Eck contributed 12 points while senior forward Addis Ralph and junior forward John Rigsby both had 10 points with Ralph grabbing six rebounds and blocking three shots while Rigsby had three boards.

Senior forward John Hargraves added four points, four rebounds, two assists and a pair of blocked shots while senior guard Mike Martino had four assists, three rebounds and three steals. Junior guard Keith Otto contributed a pair of assists.

O'Connor hit a jumper to open the scoring in the game, and back-to-back three-pointers from Ralph and Eck had the Blue and Grey leading 8-3 with 16:21 left in the first half. That ended up being Moravian's largest lead of the evening. The Maccabees closed the gap to one point at 8-7 before Rigsby drained a three-pointer. Yeshiva answered with six straight points to take a 13-11 lead before Rigsby hit another trey. The Hounds had the lead back to four points at 20-16 after a steal and lay-up from King with 9:21 before the intermission. The Greyhounds kept the lead for the next seven minutes with it reaching four points on three occasions. After the Maccabees retook the lead, Barnes hit a three-pointer to knot the score at 35-35 with 35 seconds before halftime. Yeshiva scored to move ahead and then hit half-court buzzer beater to head to the locker room with a 40-35 edge.

The Hounds opened with second half with an 8-0 run, including six points from Eck that had the Blue and Grey up 43-40 two and a half minutes into the period. The lead would go back-and-forth over the next 10 minutes with eight lead changes. O'Connor had Moravian lead 65-63 with 7:34 remaining after a jumper but the Maccabees netted five straight points and would lead the rest of the way. Barnes cut it to a one-point game at 77-76 on a three-pointer with 59 seconds led but Yeshiva would score eight of the final 10 points to finish the game.

Moravian is slated to return to action on Saturday, December 21 when the Greyhounds host Immaculata University in a non-conference contest beginning at 2:00 p.m. in Johnston Hall.