BETHLEHEM, Pa. --- The Moravian College women's basketball team trailed by 13 points with just under three minutes left in the first half before rallying for a 76-65 victory over Delaware Valley University in the opening round of the 16th Steel Club Classic in Johnston Hall Sunday.
The Greyhounds, who are now 8-3 on the season, will play Cabrini University in the championship game Monday, December 31 at 1:00 p.m. after the Cavaliers defeated SUNY New Paltz, 72-61, in Saturday's other first round contest.
"We are happy to get the win coming off our holiday break," noted Head Coach Mary Beth Spirk. "It took us a little while to shake off the cobwebs, but the 10-1 run to end the 2nd quarter gave us some momentum that we carried into the second half. Nadine's work on the boards and aggressiveness on offense, getting to the line, after halftime, really turned the tide. Emily gave us a spark off the bench and as a team we only had 10 turnovers which was key. We look forward to competing for a title tomorrow."
Junior guard Maddie Capuano led three Hounds in double figures with a game-high 26 points to go with a pair of rebounds while junior forward Nadine Ewald registered her fifth double-double of the season and 17th of her career with 14 points and 12 boards to go with a pair of assists. Sophomore guard Jennifer McClave added 14 points, five assists and three rebounds.
Junior guard Karlie Brogan and senior guard/forward Emily Walls each tossed in seven points with Walls grabbing a career-high eight rebounds to go with two steals and Brogan contributing seven boards and five assists. Senior guard forward Caitlin Flanagan added three points while senior forward Ariana Caiati and senior guard Tyis Mullen both had two points and sophomore guard Sarah Donati scored one point.
Moravian connected on 24-of-61 field goal attempts including 6-of-19 beyond the three-point line, and the Greyhounds made 22-of-28 free throw attempts. The Blue and Grey, who dished out 16 assists, also had a 37-34 edge in rebounds had committed just 10 turnovers while forcing 15 turnovers.
Ewald opened the scoring with a pair of baskets for a 4-0 edge, and the Hounds were up 9-4 after a three-pointer from Capuano at the 6:48 mark. Flanagan hit a free throw to push the edge back to five points at 13-8 with 4:16 left in the opening quarter but the Aggies finished the period on an 11-2 to take a 19-15 lead after 10 minutes of action.
Delaware Valley scored the first four points of the second quarter before a free throw by Donati. Ewald would pull the Hounds within four points at 24-20, and Capuano closed the gap to four again with two free throws at 5:06. The Aggies answered and would extend their advantage to 40-27 with 2:41 left in the half. Capuano started a run by Moravian that saw a three-pointer from Brogan and a three-point play by McClave in the final minute pulled the Hounds within 41-38 at the intermission.
The Aggies scored to open the second half before a three-pointer from Capuano and a lay-up by Caiati knotted the score at 43-43. Delaware Valley moved back ahead until the 3:50 mark when two free throws from Ewald gave the Greyhounds the lead at 51-50. Capuano and McClave also added two free throws to push the advantage to 55-50, and the Blue and Grey led 58-55 after 30 minutes of play.
Delaware Valley tied the contest for the sixth time with a three-point play to start the fourth quarter, but Ewald answered with a three-point play of her own as the Hounds took the lead for good with 9:26 remaining. Moravian would slowly pull away before pushing the lead into double digits, 74-63, on a McClave with 2:23 left in the contest.