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Men's Basketball Holds Off 2nd Half Rally to Defeat Goucher, 68-65

Men's Basketball Holds Off 2nd Half Rally to Defeat Goucher, 68-65

The Moravian College men's basketball team held off a second half rally by Goucher College to earn a 68-65 Landmark Conference win on the road Friday evening as junior guard Garrett Johnson had his second double-double of the season for the Greyhounds with 19 points and a career high 11 rebounds.

The Gophers, now 3-15 overall and 0-8 in Landmark Conference action, took a 1-0 lead on a free throw by freshman guard Richard Harris at the 19:37 mark, and a lay-up from freshman guard Damon Brooks gave Goucher a 3-0 lead. The Greyhounds, who are 10-9 overall and 5-3 in conference play, would get on the scoreboard with a three-pointer from senior forward Jeff Cullinan at 18:53, which ignited a 13-0 Moravian run with sophomore forward Cameron Cullen giving the Greyhounds a 13-3 edge with a jumper at 16:30.

Cullinan connected on a lay-up at 12:16 as Moravian built a 21-8 lead while a three-pointer by Johnson pushed the Greyhounds' advantage to 27-13 with 8:41 left in the first half. Junior forward Aaron Thieme connected on a three-pointer with 1:51 left for Moravian's final points of the first half while Goucher senior forward Marcus Cotton hit a lay-up with 35 seconds remaining to set the halftime score at 41-30 Moravian.

The Greyhounds were 14-for-31 from the floor (45 percent), five-for-12 behind the three-point line and eight-for-13 at the foul line in the opening 20 minutes of the game. Moravian had just seven first half turnovers while Goucher had 12 turnovers. The Gophers did have a 22-17 advantage in rebounds while shooting 11-for-23 from the field (48 percent), one-for-six on three-pointers and seven-for-17 at the charity stripe in the first half of the contest.

Brooks would start the second half with a three-point play just four seconds after play started to help Goucher cut the Moravian lead to 41-33. Moravian would get on the board at the 18:35 on a put back bucket by Johnson. With a baseline drive at the 14:06 mark, Johnson gave the Greyhounds a 51-42 lead while the Gophers would get within five points, 51-46, on a jumper by sophomore forward Manney Wood with 12:45 left on the clock.

Brooks got Goucher within a possession, 51-48, at 11:08, before Moravian junior guard D.J. Strayhorn stopped a 7-0 Goucher run with a jumper at 10:39 for a 53-48 Moravian advantage. The Gophers finally pulled back in front, 55-54, on a three-pointer from Brooks with 8:13 to play. Junior forward Trae Lindsay hit a lay-up to give Goucher a 57-54 lead but Moravian would eventually tie the game at 59-59 on a pair of free throws by freshman guard Izel Dickerson at 5:07.

The Greyhounds moved back in front, 61-59, on a lay-up from Johnson at the 4:38 mark, and a free throw from Johnson gave Moravian a 62-60 with 3:59 to go. Goucher tied the contest at 62-62 on a lay-up by Lindsay with 2:06, and the Gophers moved ahead, 63-62, on a free throw by Cotton with 52 seconds left in the half. 

Moravian would go back in front, 64-63, on two free throws from Strayhorn with 34.6 seconds on the clock. Ten seconds later, Strayhorn added another free throw for a 65-63 advantage. Cullinan put Moravian up 67-63 with a pair of free throws with 10.1 seconds to go while Lindsay tapped in a miss with three seconds to go to get the Gophers back within two points, 67-65. Sophomore guard Kenny Gula hit one of two free throws with 1.8 seconds left to ice the game.

The Greyhounds struggled shooting the ball in the second half, making just eight-of-36 shots from the floor (22 percent) and 11-of-17 free throw attempts while missing all eight three-point attempts in the final 20 minutes. Moravian had just ten turnovers in the game while forcing Goucher into 21 turnovers; however, the Gophers had a 51-39 edge on the boards. Goucher was 13-for-31 from the field (42 percent), one-for-six on three-pointers and eight-for-12 at the foul line in the second half.

Cullinan had 12 points and five rebounds for Moravian while Strayhorn tossed in 12 points to go with four assists, three steals and a pair of boards. Cullen finished with nine points and six rebounds while Gula had seven points, two boards and two steals. Thieme had seven rebounds and five points for the Greyhounds while Dickerson had four points.

Lindsay led the Gophers with a double-double of 23 points and 11 rebounds, and he added a Goucher record nine blocked shots in the game. Cotton contributed 14 points and five boards while Brooks finished with 15 points, three rebounds and three assists. Harris had seven rebounds and eight points for the Gophers while Wood had five points, five rebounds and a pair of steals.

Moravian will return to action tomorrow, Saturday, January 28th in a Landmark Conference game at The Catholic University of America tipping off at 5:00 p.m. in Washington, D.C.

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