SCRANTON, Pa. --- The second seed Moravian College men's basketball team fell to top seed The University of Scranton, 68-63, in the 2017 Landmark Conference Championship game Saturday at the John Long Center.
Moravian falls to 19-8 on the season after having its six-game winning streak snapped, and the Greyhounds will wait until Monday, February 27 to find out if the squad receives a bid to the 2017 ECAC Division III Championship Tournament.
"I could not be more proud of the way we competed for 40 minutes," commented Head Coach Justin Potts, who had Moravian in its first overall conference championship game since 1948 in just his second season leading the program. "I thought we did some good things but just never got the pace to our liking. Credit goes to Carl and his team they did a good job executing at both ends. These games usually come down to a few possessions and we just came up a little short today. I want to thank the fans and alumni for their support today it means a lot to our program."
The Greyhounds had two players in double figures with senior forward Brandon McGuire scoring 21 points and adding nine rebounds to raise his career totals to 1,328 points, which moves him to seventh in school history, and 758 rebounds, fourth all-time. Sophomore forward Oneil Holder added 17 points, four rebounds and a pair of assists for Moravian.
Senior guard Sean Hanna and sophomore guards Jimmy Murray and Will Brazukas each had six points with Hanna and Brazukas both grabbing three boards. Hanna also had a pair of assists and two steals while Brazukas had two steals, Senior guard Isaiah Jennings contributed three assists, two points and two steals while sophomore forward Jake McGee had three points and freshman guard C.J. Barnes netted two points.
Scranton scored the game's first four points before McGuire got Moravian on the scoreboard at the 17:58 mark. The Royals pushed the lead to 8-2 before a three-pointer by Murray and a lay-up by McGuire closed the gap to 8-7. Holder drove down the lane and gave the Hounds their first lead of the game at 11-10 with 12-18 left in the first half.
Hanna scored twice and McGuire added a lay-up to push the Blue and Grey's advantage to 17-10 with 9:39 on the clock. Scranton closed within two points before McGuire drained a three-pointer from the corner for a 21-16 edge. The Royals scored nine of the next 13 points to take a 27-25 lead with 3:54 before halftime. Moravian moved back ahead, 30-29, on a three-pointer by McGuire at 2:47; however the Greyhounds would not score again in the half and headed to the locker room trailing Scranton, 33-30.
The Royals started the second half on a 10-6 run to push their lead to 43-36 after five minutes of action. Scranton extended the advantage to double digits at 51-40 on a pair of free throws with 11:17 to play. The Greyhounds would get with in three points, 53-50, on a pair of free throws by Holder with 8:11 on the clock.
Holder converted on a three-point play with 2:55 remaining as Moravian trailed 63-57, and Holder hit two more free throws with 50 ticks on the clock as the Greyhounds were down 65-61. However, Moravian was unable to get any closer.
The ECAC changed its format this year with one 16-team tournament with the opening round based on the four regions with Moravian in the Metro. The tournament begins on Wednesday, March 1 with eight first round sites before the remaining eight teams head to the top seed for the quarterfinals, semifinals and championship from March 3-5.