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O'Connor Nets Career High as Hounds Clinch Landmark Conference Tournament Berth with Win at Goucher

Senior guard Matt O'Connor drives to the basket after a steal in a game versus The University of Scranton in Johnston Hall earlier this season.
Senior guard Matt O'Connor drives to the basket after a steal in a game versus The University of Scranton in Johnston Hall earlier this season.

TOWSON, Md. --- Junior guard Matt O'Connor netted a career-high 29 points to help lead the Moravian College men's basketball team to a 69-64 Landmark Conference win at Goucher College on Saturday as the Greyhounds clinched a berth in the 2020 Landmark Conference Tournament.

The Hounds, who were playing their final road game of the regular season, are now 13-10 overall and 8-4 in Landmark Conference play and will be heading to the conference tournament for the fourth consecutive year as the Blue and Grey look to win their third straight Landmark Conference title. O'Connor connected on 11-of-19 shots from the floor and added two three-pointers and five free throws to net his 29 points, and he added six rebounds and four assists. Senior guard C.J. Barnes added 17 points, four rebounds, two assists and a pair of steals as he became the 16th player in program history to reach 1,200 career points, now with 1,208. Barnes also had four three-pointers as he became the second Greyhound to make 200 three-pointers in a career, now with 203.

Senior forward Addis Ralph contributed 11 points, a game-high nine rebounds and a pair of blocked shots while senior guard Mike Martino had five points, two assists, two rebounds and two steals. Senior forward John Hargraves grabbed five rebounds and scored four points while junior guard Deandre Tillett added four rebounds, four assists and three points. Freshman guard Nate Dougherty pulled down four rebounds while freshman forward Ricky Melosky had two boards.

O'Connor drained a three-pointer to start the contest, and Barnes' 200th three-pointer put the Hounds up 6-2. Goucher came back and took a 16-11 edge before the Greyhounds knotted the score at 18-18 on a lay-up from Martino with 11:12 to go in the first half. Hargraves hit a jumper to give the Blue and Grey a 25-20 advantage just over two minutes later; however, the Gophers responded to move in front, 34-28, with six minutes before the intermission. Goucher's lead reached seven points before a late lay-up by Ralph cut the deficit to 40-35 at halftime.

O'Connor opened the second half scoring with a jumper, and back-to-back three-pointers by Barnes had Moravian back in the lead at 43-42 with just over 15 minutes remaining. Over the next four minutes, the Greyhounds and the Gophers traded the lead twice and were tied three times before a free throw from Barnes at the 11:42 mark gave the Hounds the lead for good at 51-50. O'Connor and Ralph hit shots to make it a five-point edge at 55-50. Goucher eventually closed within a point at 65-64 with 2:19 remaining. O'Connor connected a jumper 10 seconds later for the three-point edge, and neither team scored again until O'Connor sank two free throws with 18 seconds on the clock to set the final score.

The Greyhounds are scheduled to return to action on Wednesday, February 19 when the squad hosts Susquehanna University in a Landmark Conference game tipping off at 7:00 p.m. in Johnston Hall.