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Fourth Quarter Rally Falls Short as Hounds Drop Regular Season Finale at Elizabethtown

Junior guard Maddie Capuano goes up for a lay-up in the second half versus Susquehanna University in Johnston Hall.
Junior guard Maddie Capuano goes up for a lay-up in the second half versus Susquehanna University in Johnston Hall.

ELIZABETHTOWN, Pa. --- The Moravian College women's basketball team rallied from a 14-point deficit with 8:39 to play to take a one-point lead with 37 seconds left before falling to host Elizabethtown College, 82-79, in the Landmark Conference regular season finale Saturday afternoon.

The Greyhounds end the regular season at 16-9 overall and 8-6 in Landmark Conference play, earning the fourth seed in the 2019 Landmark Conference Tournament on the sixth tiebreaker over Juniata College, road winning percentage in conference games where Moravian was 5-2 (.714) and the Eagles were 3-4 (.429). The Hounds will travel to top seed The University of Scranton for a Landmark Conference Semifinal on Wednesday, February 20. Saturday's contest at Elizabethtown was also the first this winter that the Blue and Grey did not earn a victory when scoring at least 60 points after starting the year 15-0 when netting 60 points in a game.

Moravian had three players in double figures led by junior guard Maddie Capuano, who scored a game-high 32 points including 19 points in the fourth quarter. Capuano moved into 12th in school history with 1,231 points including 523 this year, the eighth best season in program history, and she has 72 points in two games versus Elizabethtown this winter. Capuano grabbed eight rebounds and dished out a pair of assists on Saturday.

Senior guard Emily Walls tied her career high 19 points to go along with four rebounds and a pair of steals while junior forward Nadine Ewald added her tenth double-double of the season and 22nd of her career with 14 rebounds and 12 points to go with four assists and two steals. Ewald moved up to 11th in school history with 640 career rebounds.

Junior guard Karlie Brogan contributed nine points, nine rebounds and three steals while senior forward Ariana Caiati had six points and three boards. Freshman guard Linnaea Leister added one point while senior guard Tyis Mullen had three assists, three steals and a pair of rebounds and senior guard/forward Caitlin Flanagan grabbed two boards.

Moravian connected on 29-of-73 field goal attempts, 7-of-21 three-pointers and 14-of-20 free throws while the Blue Jays shot over 52 percent from the floor and went to the foul line 33 times, making 24 attempts. The Greyhounds had a 49-31 advantage on the boards including 26-10 on offensive rebounds.

Elizabethtown scored the game's opening points before back-to-back three-pointers from Walls had the Hounds up 6-2. After a lay-up from Capuano, a jumper by Walls posed the lead to 10-4 before the Blue Jays went on a 10-0 run to take a 14-10 lead. Moravian would move back in front, 18-16, on a jumper by Capuano late in the quarter but a lay-up from the Blue Jays had the score knotted at 18-18 after 10 minutes of action.

Ewald broke the tie with a free throw to begin the second quarter, but five straight points had Elizabethtown leading 23-19. The Blue and Grey tied the game for the sixth time at 23-23 on a jumper by Capuano with 6:50 before the intermission. However, the Blue Jays scored six straight points and would eventually add the final six points of the half to head to the locker room with a 39-28 advantage.

Walls would start the third quarter with a jumper and another three-pointer as the Hounds closed the gap to 39-33. After Elizabethtown extended the edge to 10 points twice, Moravian would get within five points, 52-47, after a three-pointer from Brogan with 2:33 to go in the period. However, the Blue Jays finished the quarter with a 10-2 run to lead 62-49 after 30 minutes of play.

Capuano opened the fourth quarter with a three-pointer before Elizabethtown scored twice for a 14-point edge, 66-52, its largest advantage of the contest with 8:39 remaining. Walls and Brogan both made shots before a three-pointer by Capuano closed the gap to 66-59 with 7:17 to go, but the Blue Jays pushed the edge back to 11 points a minute later. Capuano countered with a jumper and a three-pointer, and when Ewald scored with 3:49 on the clock, the Greyhounds trailed just 72-68.

Ewald hit on a three-point play to make it a one-point game, and a lay-up from Capuano knotted the score at 75-75 with 2:04 remaining. The Blue Jays scored the next three points to retake the lead, but Capuano cut it to one with a pair of free throws at the 1:10 mark. Walls would put Moravian up 79-78 on a jumper with 37 ticks left; however, Elizabethtown would make three of four free throws and the Greyhounds were unable to get another shot off in the game.

The Hounds will head to nationally-ranked Scranton for a Landmark Conference Semifinal on Wednesday, February 20 beginning at 7:00 p.m. at the John Long Center.