The Moravian College men's basketball team defeated DeSales University 72-63 in non-conference action Tuesday evening, holding off a second half rally by the Bulldogs. This win is Head Coach Jim Walker's 400th victory with the Greyhounds. Walker is now 400-383 in his 32nd season at the school and 413-395 in 33 years as a collegiate coach.
The Bulldogs would get off to a quick start going up 4-0 just two and half minutes in, but Moravian would battle back to 4-3 with a free throw from junior guard D.J. Strayhorn and a layup from senior forward Marcus Hardy. After a turnover by DeSales, Strayhorn would hit a three from deep to take the lead, and then Hardy hit the jumper as the Greyhounds would go up 8-4 early. A three from sophomore guard Paul Pammer of the Bulldogs would put them right back into the lead at 11-10 with 13:35 remaining in the half.
After being down 13-10, layups from junior forward Aaron Thieme, sophomore forward Cameron Cullen and freshman guard Izel Dickerson the Greyhounds would take a 16-13 lead. Right after that, senior forward Bob Zanneo would hit a three while being fouled on the play. Zanneo would convert on the free throw for the four-point play, and give the Bulldogs a 17-16 lead with just under nine minutes to go. Moments later sophomore guard Kyle Hash would hit a deep two while getting fouled, and he would complete the three-point play to give DeSales a 24-20 lead with six minutes remaining in the first half.
With a bucket by Dickerson and an off balance layup from Strayhorn the Greyhounds would tie the game at 24 with five minutes left in the half. After a trap play at half court where Moravian forced a turnover, Hardy would get the ball then make a quick pass to Strayhorn who scored on the easy layup to tie the game at 28. With the half coming to an end sophomore guard Kenny Gula would nail a three with 46 seconds left to put Moravian up 33-29. Junior guard Garrett Johnson would make a layup as time ran out to give the Greyhounds a 35-29 lead going into halftime.
The Bulldogs wouldn't waste any time in the second half, coming right out and hitting a three-pointer by Zanneo. After another baskey by DeSales, senior forward Jeff Cullinan would answer right back with a three from the corner to make it 38-34, Moravian with 17:25 to go. Cullinan would come right back and make an easy layup while being fouled. He would convert the free throw for a 41-36 lead.
In the 11th minute of the second half Dickerson would steal the ball right after coming off the bench, then make a pass to Cullen who would lay it in for a50-42 lead. The Bulldogs would answer right back with a bucket from Pammer, and then a three from the corner from sophomore guard Mike Coleman to make 50-47, Moravian. Coleman would come back and get fouled while shooting a minute later. He would make both free throws to bring DeSales within one point of Moravian. After a missed shot by Strayhorn, freshman forward Michael Mestre would make one of two free throws after being fouled to tie the game at 50 with just under eight minutes to go.
Hardy would end the Greyhounds scoring drought with a layup off the rebound to give Moravian a 52-50 lead. After DeSales answered back, Cullinan would nail a three from deep to take a 55-52 lead. Strayhorn would come right back with a running jumper as the Greyhounds have regained the momentum with five minutes left in the game. Coleman for DeSales would hit the jumper to cut the lead down to three, but Johnson nailed a three from the corner. Then Hash would take it in for an easy layup for DeSales, but Cullinan would hit his third three of the night to give the Hounds a 63-56 lead with just under four minutes remaining.
After draining almost a full minute off the clock the Cullen would layup for a 65-58 lead, but the Bulldogs answered right back with a three from Hash to cut the lead to four points with 1:32 left in the game. In the next possession with time running out on the shot clock Cullinan banked in a fade away three as Moravian increased its lead to 68-61 with under a minute left to play. That would be as close as the Bulldogs would get as Moravian would go onto to win 72-63.
Leading the Greyhounds was Strayhorn, who notched his third 20-point game of the season, with 21 points, four assists and three steals. Cullinan tied his career-high for points in a game with 17 while Hardy recorded his career-high in points with nine to go with his 11 rebounds. Cullen scored eight points and had four rebounds while Johnson had seven points and four rebounds.
Hash led DeSales with 16 points and nine boards. Coleman and Zanneo both scored 11 points. Pammer put up nine points.
Moravian shot 45 percent from the field while the Bulldogs shot 50 percent from the field.
This is Moravian's first win over DeSales since 2000 when the Greyhounds won 65-62 at Johnston Hall.
The Greyhounds return to action Sunday, November 27th when they host Misericordia University in non-conference action. The game is scheduled for 3 p.m. at Johnston Hall.