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Moravian Rallies Back Before Falling to Susquehanna in Landmark Conference Action

Senior forward John Hargraves lays in a shot during the first half versus Susquehanna University in Johnston Hall.
Senior forward John Hargraves lays in a shot during the first half versus Susquehanna University in Johnston Hall.

BETHLEHEM, Pa. --- The Moravian College men's basketball team rallied from a 20-point first half deficit to take the lead in the second half before falling to visiting Susquehanna University, 90-67, in Landmark Conference action in Johnston Hall Wednesday evening.

The Greyhounds, who are 13-11 overall and 8-5 in Landmark Conference play, will now play on the road in the Landmark Conference Semifinals on Wednesday, February 26 at a site to be determined after Saturday's final regular season contests.

The Blue and Grey had four players in double figures led by junior guard Matt O'Connor, who had 17 points to go with eight assists and three rebounds. Senior guard C.J. Barnes tossed in 15 points with six boards while senior forward Addis Ralph added 11 points, seven rebounds and a career-high five blocked shots. Senior forward John Hargraves netted 10 points with a pair of rebounds.

Senior guard Mike Martino contributed six points, two assists, two rebounds and a pair of steals while freshman guard Greg Eck had five points and three boards. Junior guard Deandre Tillett added three points, four rebounds and a pair of assists while freshman guard Dylan Parris pulled down a rebound.

O'Connor started the game with a three-pointer, and Moravian led 5-3 after a lay-up by Hargraves. Susquehanna moved ahead by seven points, 14-7, before Barnes connected on a three-pointer with just under 15 minutes on the clock. The River Hawks then went on a 21-5 run to push the edge to 20 points at 35-15 with 7:06 until the intermission. Martino and O'Connor connected on three-pointers and Barnes added a jumper to cut the game to 35-23 while a three-pointer by Tillett at the 2:59 mark brought the Blue and Grey back within nine points at 41-32. Ralph drained a three-pointer and hit a put back lay-up while Barnes hit another three-pointer as the Hounds closed within three points with just under a minute left in the half. After a three-pointer by the River Hawks, Barnes hit one more trey as the Greyhounds had rallied back to trail by just three points, 46-43, at halftime. The team's combined to shoot 18-of-33 behind the three-point line in the opening 20 minutes of action.

Moravian continued the run once the teams returned to the court with Martino opening the second half with a three-pointer and O'Connor giving the lead back to the Hounds, 49-46, with another three-pointer. Ralph pushed the Greyhounds' edge to five points at 53-48 with just under 17 minutes to play. The Blue and Grey led by three points, 57-54, after two free throws by Barnes with 13:17 to go before Susquehanna went on a 10-0 run to retake control of the game with a 64-57 lead. O'Connor drove in for a lay-up with just under eight minutes remaining to cut the deficit to five points at 68-63; however, Moravian was limited to just a free throw from Hargraves and a three-pointer by Eck over the final seven minutes of action as the River Hawks scored another 22 points.

The Greyhounds are slated to finish the regular season on Saturday, February 22 when the squad hosts Elizabethtown College in Landmark Conference action and Senior Day with tip-off set for 2:00 p.m. in Johnston Hall.