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Greyhounds Capture 16th Steel Club Classic Title with Victory over Cabrini

The Greyhounds pose with the 16th Steel Club Classic Championship plaque after winning the tournament for the 11th time in Johnston Hall.
The Greyhounds pose with the 16th Steel Club Classic Championship plaque after winning the tournament for the 11th time in Johnston Hall.

BETHLEHEM, Pa. --- The Moravian College women's basketball team posted an 83-69 victory over Cabrini University Monday afternoon in Johnston Hall to win the 16th Steel Club Classic, the program's 11th time winning the tournament.

The Greyhounds, now 9-3 overall, won the tournament for the fourth consecutive time, their second time winning four tournament titles in a row, and the contest was the Hounds' final non-conference game of the season with 13 Landmark Conference contests remaining on the schedule.

"It's a great way to end 2018 - tournament champions, 9-3 on the year, and heading into conference play with some confidence," stated Head Coach Mary Beth Spirk. "Nadine once again dominated on both ends deserving of MVP honors. Jen making the All-Tournament team with a career high was awesome, and Maddie also had a great weekend with two tough defensive assignments all the while scoring over 20 points each game. We withstood their run in third quarter stepped up our defense and rebounding and came away with a victory. Hopefully we can continue the momentum into the new year."

Junior forward Nadine Ewald was selected as the tournament's Most Valuable Player after recording her second straight double-double with 21 points and 11 rebounds to go with a pair of assists. Ewald became the 24th player in school history to reach 500 career rebounds, now with 503, and she has six double-doubles this winter and 18 in her career.

"Huge congratulations to Nadine for grabbing her 500th rebounding joining some elite company," commented Spirk. "We look forward to seeing her climb that leaderboard as the season and her career progresses."

Sophomore guard Jennifer McClave earned a spot on the All-Tournament Team after netting a career-high 21 points to go along with four rebounds and two assists while junior guard Maddie Capuano had 30 points, three boards and a pair of assists. Junior guard Karlie Brogan tossed in 11 points with four assists, three steals and two rebounds while senior forward Ariana Caiati added six points and five boards and senior guard/forward Emily Walls had a career-best 10 rebounds to go with four points.

Moravian connected on 27-of-52 field goal attempts, 5-of-13 three-pointers and 24-of-29 free throws in the victory, and the Blue and Grey posted a 45-25 edge on the boards.

McClave opened the game with a jumper, and Capuano hit a lay-up for a 4-2 lead. The Cavaliers scored five straight points to take a 7-4 lead, and Cabrini was up 10-6 before an 8-0 run by Moravian gave the Blue and Grey a 14-10 edge after a three-point play by Ewald with 4:08 left in the opening quarter. The Cavaliers scored the next eight points and had an 18-16 lead after 10 minutes of action.

Cabrini opened the second quarter with a three-pointer for a five-point edge, its biggest of the game, 21-16. Walls hit a three-pointer to knot the score at 25-25 with 7:15 on the clock, and Ewald followed with a lay-up to give the Hounds the lead for good at the 6:37 mark. Capuano hit two free throws to push the lead to nine points, 40-31 with 2:38 before the intermission, and Moravian headed to the locker room with a 41-35 advantage.

Caiati hit a lay-up and two free throws to start the third quarter as the Blue and Grey's lead reached double digits at 45-35. Cabrini would close within four points twice in the quarter but a lay-up by McClave had the Hounds leading 59-50 after 30 minutes of action.

Moravian's lead would reach 15 points, 70-55, with 5:22 left in the game on a jumper by Capuano. The Cavaliers pulled within five at 72-67 before the Blue and Grey pushed the advantage back into double figures.

The Greyhounds are slated to return to action on Saturday, January 5, 2019 in a Landmark Conference game at The Catholic University of America tipping off at 2:00 p.m. in Washington, D.C.