BETHLEHEM, Pa. --- Moravian College sophomore forwards C.J. Barnes and Addis Ralph each scored a career-high to help the Greyhounds rally from a 12-point first half deficit and post a 96-84 victory over visiting Juniata College in Landmark Conference action Saturday afternoon in Johnston Hall.
The Hounds, who also hosted their annual Alumni Game on Saturday, improve to 17-6 overall and 9-3 in Landmark Conference play with their sixth straight win. Barnes led all scorers with a career-high 23 points to go with three rebounds while Ralph netted a career-best 19 points with five boards. Prior to the game, Moravian honors juniors forward Oneil Holder and guard Jimmy Murray for joining the 1,000-point club and both players netted double figures in the contest with Holder scoring 17 points and adding two assists and two rebounds and Murray contributing 13 points, a career-high seven assists and four rebounds.
Sophomore guard Elijah Davis tossed in nine points with three steals and two rebounds while senior forward Khalil Rhett had six points and three boards. Junior guard Nicholas Casazza also scored six points to go with three steals, two assists and two rebounds while sophomore guard Mike Martino added eight assists, three rebounds and two points. Prior to tip-off, Martino was honored with the first Greg McNelis '77 Award for being one of the top defenders on the team and showing the spirit of McNelis on the court. McNelis passed away in 2017. Senior guard Matt Cardonne also had a point in the victory.
For the second straight game, the Greyhounds had a huge second half, shooting 67.7 percent after the intermission and finishing the game 32-of-59 from the floor and 13-for-25 beyond the three-point arc. The Hounds were 19-for-28 at the foul line, and their pressure defense forced the Eagles into 22 turnovers.
Juniata scored the opening three points before Murray hit a three-pointer to knot the score. The Eagles led by five points, 10-5, before a three-pointer by Barnes at 16:43 cut the deficit to two points. However, Juniata went on a 15-5 run to build a 25-13 advantage with 10:42 before the intermission.
Davis started an 8-0 run by the Blue and Grey with a pair of free throws, and Murray and Davis followed with three-pointers to get the Hounds within four points, 25-21, with 9:07 on the clock. The Eagles pushed the edge back to eight points before a lay-up and three-pointer by Ralph had the Hounds down three points. Murray eventually knotted the score at 36-36 with 1:38 left in the half but Juniata headed to the locker room with a 38-37 lead after 20 minutes of action.
Rhett opened the second half with a lay-up to put Moravian ahead, and the Greyhounds took the lead for good, 43-42, on a pair of free throws by Murray at the 18:18 mark. Davis and Barnes followed with lay-ups off of steals to push the edge to 47-42, and the Hounds never looked back. Holder gave Moravian a 10-point lead, 67-57, with 11:26 to play, and the Blue and Grey's advantage would reach 18 points in the final minute after a pair of free throws by Barnes.
The Greyhounds are scheduled to close out their 2017-18 home schedule on Wednesday, February 14 when the Hounds welcome Drew University to Johnston Hall for a 7:00 p.m. contest to finish off a four-game home stand. Moravian will also be celebrating Senior Night on Wednesday.