BETHLEHEM, Pa. --- The Moravian College men's basketball squad saw a 10-point halftime lead slip away before holding on with four free throws in the final 29 seconds for a 53-48 Landmark Conference win over visiting Juniata College in Johnston Hall Saturday afternoon.
"I thought our guys played tough this afternoon, especially when Juniata made its way back in the second half," stated Head Coach Shawn Postiglione. "The players showed a lot of poise in those final two minutes after the game was tied and left it all on the court to get the win. We've got a lot of work to do over the next two weeks in the final four games as we look to finish the year strong."
The Greyhounds, who are now 11-10 overall and 6-4 in Landmark Conference action, had three players in double figures with senior forward Addis Ralph and freshman guard Greg Eck each netting 11 points. Ralph added eight rebounds and a career-high four blocked shots while Eck grabbed three boards. Senior guard C.J. Barnes contributed 10 points and six rebounds for the Hounds while junior guard Matt O'Connor tossed in nine points with four assists and two boards.
Junior guard Deandre Tillett had five points, five rebounds and three assists for the Blue and Grey while senior guard Mike Martino added seven rebounds, three points and three assists. Freshman guard Nate Dougherty also scored three points while senior forward John Hargraves had two steals and one point in the contest.
Barnes opened the scoring with a pair of free throws after being fouled on a three-point attempt just 16 seconds into action. Juniata answered with six straight points to take a 6-2 lead before Eck drained a three-pointer and O'Connor hit a jumper to put Moravian back on top 7-6. The Eagles moved ahead 8-7 before another three-pointer by Eck put the Hounds ahead until late in the second half. The Greyhounds were holding onto a slim 18-15 lead before Dougherty and Barnes had back-to-back three-pointers and Tillett and O'Connor connected on lay-ups to stretch the advantage to 28-15 with 3:51 until the intermission. Juniata closed within seven points before Eck's third three-pointer of the half send the Hounds to the locker room with a 31-21 lead.
The Eagles began the second half with five straight points; however, three-pointers from Tillett and Ralph had the Blue and Grey's advantage back to nine points at 39-30 with 13:20 remaining. Juniata climbed within a point at 40-39 but a free throw by Ralph and a three-pointer from Martino's hands had Moravian leading 44-39 with 3:44 to goal. The Eagles netted the game's next five points to knot the score at 44-44 with 2:13 on the clock. Barnes answered with a three-pointer to give the Greyhounds the lead for good with exactly two minutes left. Juniata closed within a point before a jumper from Ralph with 1:14 to play. Eck then drained two free throws with 29 seconds left, and Barnes sank two more free throws with 13 second remaining to seal the victory.
The Hounds are slated to return to Johnston Hall on Wednesday, February 12 when the team hosts The University of Scranton for a Landmark Conference game tipping off at 7:00 p.m.