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Hounds Move Into Tie for Second in Landmark Conference with Win at Scranton

Nicholas Casazza '19 drives towards the basket in a game versus the University of Scranton earlier this season.
Nicholas Casazza '19 drives towards the basket in a game versus the University of Scranton earlier this season.

SCRANTON, Pa. --- The Moravian College men's basketball team moved into a four-way tie for second place in the Landmark Conference standings with an 89-64 conference victory at The University of Scranton Wednesday evening.

The Hounds are now 14-6 overall and 6-3 in the Landmark Conference and tied with Scranton, The Catholic University of America and Juniata College, both of which the Blue and Grey still have to play a second time.

Moravian had five players in double figures Wednesday night with junior forward Oneil Holder and junior guard Nicholas Casazza each netting 19 points. Holder also had four rebounds and a pair of blocked shots while Casazza recorded four steals. Sophomore guard Elijah Davis had 16 points, six assists and four steals while senior forward Khalil Rhett added 12 points, two board and three steals and senior guard Matt Cardonne had 10 points.

Junior guard Jimmy Murray contributed five points and three assists while sophomore forward C.J. Barnes added four points, three steals and two rebounds. Sophomore forward Addis Ralph had two points. Sophomore guard Mike Martino dished out seven assists and added four boards and a point in his first collegiate start while freshman guard Matt O'Connor netted one point.

Moravian connected on 33-of-59 field goal attempts and 13-of-26 three-pointers in the victory, and the Greyhounds were also 10-for-14 at the foul line. The Hounds' pressure defense forced Scranton into 24 turnovers while the Blue and Grey only turned the ball over 10 times.

The Royals scored the opening basket before Davis hit a three-pointer and an early 3-2 lead. Rhett pushed the Hounds back in front, 5-4, and a three-pointer from Casazza had Moravian up 15-8 with 15:02 left in the first half. Scranton answered with the next 10 points for an 18-15 lead while Rhett scored a lay-up to give the Hounds a 22-20 edge with 9:30 left before the intermission.

The Royals moved back in front with just over eight minutes on the clock, and Scranton pushed its lead to 34-30 with 4:32 remaining. Moravian answered with a 12-0 run to take the advantage for good. Casazza's three-pointer with 2:27 on the clock gave the Hounds the lead back at 35-34, and another trey by Casazza ended the run at 42-34 in the final minute of the half. Scranton would get a late three-pointer but the Blue and Grey headed to the locker room with a 42-37 edge.

Back-to-back three-pointers from Holder and Davis early in the second half pushed Moravian's lead into double digits at 50-39, and the advantage would reach 20 points, 73-53, on a lay-up from Davis with 8:13 remaining. The Hounds kept the lead over 20 points for the remainder of the contest, reaching as many as 27 points twice.

The Greyhounds are slated to return to action on Saturday, February 3 when the squad hosts Elizabethtown College in a Landmark Conference game in Johnston Hall at 4:00 p.m. to begin a four-game home stand.