Fourth Quarter, Free Throws Leads Hounds to Landmark Conference Win Over Catholic

Trista Cunningham '18 heads towards the basket in the first half versus Catholic University.
Trista Cunningham '18 heads towards the basket in the first half versus Catholic University.

BETHLEHEM, Pa. --- The Moravian College women's basketball team scored 23 points in the fourth quarter to break a tie after 30 minutes of play and post a 68-58 victory over The Catholic University of America in a Landmark Conference game in Johnston Hall Saturday.

"It was a great team win," commented Head Coach Mary Beth Spirk. "Different players stepped up in key situations. We have talked about playing team defense and team offense, and we accomplished that tonight."

Moravian improves to 12-3 overall and evens its Landmark Conference mark at 2-2 with the triumph. The Greyhounds finished off their season-long eight-game home stand with a 7-1 mark.

The Hounds had three players in double figures with graduate student forward Camille McPherson picking up her second double-double of the season and tenth of her career with 19 points and 10 rebounds. Sophomore forward Nadine Ewald had 14 points, eight rebounds and a pair of steals for Moravian while senior forward Trista Cunningham had 13 points, three boards and a pair of blocked shots.

Senior forward Ciara Stewart had eight points, three rebounds and a pair of steals off of the bench for the Blue and Grey while sophomore guards Maddie Capuano and Karlie Brogan each had five points with Capuano adding four assists and three rebounds and Brogan contributing six rebounds and two assists. Freshman guard Jennifer McClave had two points and two boards while freshman guard Julia Sirotnak added four rebounds, two points and a pair of blocked shots.

Both teams struggled shooting the ball with the Greyhounds going just 18-for-46 from the floor and 3-for-13 beyond the three-point line. The difference in the contest came at the foul line where Catholic was 11-for-15 while Moravian attempted 43 free throws, making 29. The Greyhounds also had a 49-29 advantage on the boards including 13-7 on the offensive glass.

McPherson hit a three-pointer 16 seconds into the contest to give Moravian a 3-0 lead, and Ewald added a lay-up as the Hounds led 5-0 after two and a half minutes. McPherson connected on a lay-up at the 4:19 mark as the Blue and Grey led 10-4; however, the Cardinals finished the quarter with a 13-4 run to lead Moravian 17-14 after ten minutes of action.

Catholic pushed its edge to five points in the second quarter before three straight lay-ups by Cunningham turned a 21-19 deficit into a 25-21 lead. The Hounds kept that lead until the final seconds of the half when the Cardinals scored to head to the locker room with a 30-29 advantage.

Catholic scored first in the second half and led by four points before Ewald knotted the score at 34-34 with a lay-up at the 6:42 mark of the third quarter. Cunningham would give the Greyhounds the lead again at 41-40 with 3:57 left in the period and the edge reached 45-41 after two free throws by Ewald. However, Moravian did not score of over the final 2:54 of the quarter as Catholic netted four points to tie the game at 45-45 after 30 minutes of play.

Stewart scored off of a pass from McPherson 14 seconds into the fourth quarter as the Greyhounds took the lead for the rest of the contest. Up just two at 52-50, McPherson scored five points and Ewald added a free throw for a 58-50 lead with 5:43 showing on the clock. Brogan eventually hit a free throw to push the advantage to 66-56 with 1:35 remaining. The Hounds were 13-for-17 at the foul line in the final ten minutes of the game.

The Greyhounds head out on the road for the first time in six weeks as the squad heads to No. 17 The University of Scranton for a Landmark Conference game on Wednesday, January 17 beginning at 7:00 p.m.