ERIE, Pa. --- The Moravian College men's basketball team saw its record-breaking 2016-17 season come to a close Friday as the top seeded Greyhounds fell to Bethany (W.Va.) College, 88-81, in the 2017 ECAC Division III Championship Tournament Quarterfinals hosted by Penn State Behrend.
The Hounds finish the winter with a 19-9 mark, tying the school record for victories in a season, and Moravian set school marks for points with 2,317, field goals made with 809, three-pointers made with 249 and assists with 435 under second-year Head Coach Justin Potts, who is 30-23 after two seasons.
"I'm proud of how hard we competed especially after such a slow start," stated Potts. "Today we just dug ourselves too big of a hole to recover from."
Moravian had four players in double figures with senior forward Brandon McGuire recording his 15th double-double of the season with 20 points and 10 rebounds to go with a pair of assists. McGuire, who was playing in his 100th career game, finishes his career with 33 double-doubles and is ranked seventh all-time with 1,348 points, fourth in school history with 768 rebounds and tied for fourth with 63 blocked shots.
Sophomore guard Jimmy Murray tossed in 16 points while senior guard Sean Hanna added 14 points, three rebounds, three assists and two boards. Hanna finishes his career with 658 points, 187 rebounds, 213 assists, which ranks eighth in school history, and 110 assists in 98 games. Sophomore forward Oneil Holder netted 12 points to go with four rebounds.
Junior guard Matt Cardonne scored nine points on a trio of three-pointers to go with two steals for Moravian while senior guard Isaiah Jennings had four points, five steals and three assists to finish his career with 379 points, 220 rebounds, 274 assists, which ranks sixth in school history, and 135 steals, which is fourth in school history, in 103 games, tied for the third most in Moravian record books.
The Bison netted a quick basket to opening the scoring before McGuire got Moravian on the scoreboard a minute into action. Bethany moved back in front and led 10-4 four minutes into the first half. The Greyhounds would fight back and trail by just a point, 16-15, after a pair of McGuire free throws at the 11:27 mark. However, that would be as close as the Blue and Grey would get as Bethany scored the next seven points and eventually headed to the locker room with a 46-31 lead.
Bethany's lead would reach 18 points early in the second half but Moravian's pressing defense would allow the Greyhounds to close the advantage to seven points, 61-54, with 8:05 to player as McGuire hit a lay-up after a steal by Jennings. The Bison answered with nine of the next 11 points to push the lead back to 14. Hanna connected on a pair of late three-pointers to give the deficit down to five, 84-76, with 39 seconds left but Moravian was unable to get any closer.
McGuire, Hanna, Jennings and senior guard Tom Cicalese complete their careers as part of one of the biggest turnarounds in school history as they helped the program go from five wins as sophomores to tying the school record with 19 wins this winter and earning Moravian's first postseason victory since 1990 with a win over No. 17 Susquehanna University in the Landmark Conference Semifinals on February 22.
"We did some really good things this season and represented the program in a great manor. To win the first playoff game since 1990 and tie the school record for wins is a great accomplishment. I am really proud of how committed our guys were all year. Thanks to our four seniors for their dedication to the program and all they have done for Moravian Basketball. We look forward to building on this season in years to come," finished Potts.