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Late Free Throws by Barnes Lift Greyhounds Past Catholic in Landmark Conference Action

Senior guard C.J. Barnes shoots a free throw in the first half versus The Catholic University of America in Johnston Hall.
Senior guard C.J. Barnes shoots a free throw in the first half versus The Catholic University of America in Johnston Hall.

BETHLEHEM, Pa. --- Senior guard C.J. Barnes sank four free throws in the final 24 seconds including a pair with 5.9 seconds remaining to lead the Moravian College men's basketball team to a 63-62 come-from-behind Landmark Conference victory Saturday afternoon inn Johnston Hall.

Barnes led the Greyhounds, who improved to 7-6 overall and 2-0 in Landmark Conference action, with 20 points to go with eight rebounds. Junior guard Matt O'Connor tossed in 18 points with a career-best eight assists and three rebounds while senior forward Addis Ralph tossed in 10 points to go with six boards and two blocked shots.

Freshman guard Nate Dougherty scored a career-high nine points with four rebounds and three steals while senior guard Mike Martino added four rebounds, three points and a pair of steals. Junior guard Deandre Tillett also had three points while senior forward John Hargraves contributed two boards, two blocked shots and two steals.

The Cardinals opened up a 5-0 lead to start the game before Dougherty drained a three-pointer for the Blue and Grey. Barnes followed with another three-pointer as the Hounds moved ahead 6-5 before a 9-0 run from Catholic had the Cardinals up 14-6 with 15:28 left in the half. Catholic eventually stretched the lead to 10 points twice, the second time at 32-22 with just over four and a half minutes before the intermission. However, the Moravian defense would not allow the Cardinals to score again in the half, and Tillett capped an 8-0 run with a three-pointer as the Greyhounds trailed just 32-30 at the break.

Dougherty began the second half with a three-pointer as Moravian moved ahead 33-32 before the Cardinals snapped their seven-minute scoring drought to retake the lead. Barnes would knot the score at 41-41 with just over 14 minutes to play while back-to-back baskets from Ralph had the Hounds leading 45-43 with 10:37 to go. Catholic answered with seven straight points to move ahead 50-45, and the Cardinals held onto the lead until a three-pointer by O'Connor at the 3:14 had Moravian leading 57-55.

Catholic scored five straight points to move back in front 60-57 before O'Connor hit two free throws with 28 seconds on the clock to make it a one-point game. Barnes would go to the foul line four seconds later and make both attempts as the Blue and Grey moved ahead 61-60. The Cardinals hit a jumper on their next possession to retake the advantage. Barnes was fouled with 5.9 seconds left and calmly hit both shots from the charity stripe for the final lead change of the game, and Catholic was unable to get off a shot after a timeout to end the game.

The Greyhounds are set to return to action on Wednesday, January 15 in a Landmark Conference game at The University of Scranton tipping off at 7:00 p.m.