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Big First Quarter Leads Greyhounds to Win over Gwynedd Mercy

Sophomore Jennifer McClave goes up for a lay-up versus Gwynedd Mercy University in Johnston Hall.
Sophomore Jennifer McClave goes up for a lay-up versus Gwynedd Mercy University in Johnston Hall.

BETHLEHEM, Pa. --- The Moravian College women's basketball team used a 21-0 run to jump out to a 23-2 lead in the first quarter as the Greyhounds posted a 72-65 non-conference victory over visiting Gwynedd Mercy University Saturday afternoon in Johnston Hall.

"We wanted to start out strong and we did," stated Head Coach Mary Beth Spirk. "We set the tone early on the defensive end which led to easy looks on offense. Nadine dominated on both ends of the floor. Jen McClave played a strong game, which is what we need going forward, and Karlie Brogan bounced back from a tough game on Monday and gave us a spark offensively and defensively. It was a good team win heading into exam week."

The Hounds, who head to finals week at 7-2 overall, had four players in double figures led junior guard Karlie Brogan, who had 22 points to go with five rebounds, five steals and a pair of assists. Junior forward Nadine Ewald notched her third double-double of the season and 15th of her career with 20 points and 10 rebounds to go with four blocked shots while sophomore guard Jennifer McClave tied her career high with 13 points in addition to five rebounds, four assists and three steals. Junior guard Maddie Capuano tossed 12 points and added dive rebounds and three assists.

Senior forward Ariana Caiati contributed five rebounds and two points while senior guard Tyis Mullen scored two points and had two steals and sophomore forward Jordan Beneducci added three rebounds and a point. Junior guard Brooke Santy dished out a pair of assists while senior guard/forward Emily Walls had a pair of blocked shots.

Moravian was 26-of-69 from the floor including 17-of-38 in the opening half, and the squad was 3-for-9 on three-pointers and 11-for-14 at the foul line. Both teams had 41 rebounds but the Greyhounds forced 19 turnovers while only committing 11 miscues.

McClave would score the opening points just about two minutes into action before the Griffins knotted the score at 2-2. The Blue and Grey then scored the next 21 points. Brogan had a trio of three-pointers to push the advantage to 15-2, and she hit a lay-up with 1:27 to play in the opening period for a 23-2 edge. McClave hit a late jumper as the Hounds held a 25-4 lead after 10 minutes of action.

Baskets from McClave and Ewald had the Moravian advantage at 25 points, 29-4, early in the second quarter before Gwynedd Mercy outscored the Greyhounds 21-8 over the final 8:50 of the half to set the halftime score at 37-25 Moravian.

Caiati and Brogan started the second half with baskets to push the edge up to 41-25, and the Blue and Grey kept advantage at over 12 points for the period, heading to the fourth quarter up 55-41 after a late jumper from Ewald.

Brogan opened the scoring with a lay-up early in the fourth quarter before the Griffins cut the end to nine points at 61-52 with 4:12 remaining. At that point, the squads traded shots and free throws with the remainder of the game with Gwynedd Mercy hitting a final shot to cut the score down to a seven point separation as the final horn sounded.

Moravian is scheduled to return to action on Saturday, December 15 when the squad heads to Allentown to take on rival Muhlenberg College in a non-conference game tipping off at 2:00 p.m. in Memorial Hall