BETHLEHEM, Pa. --- Moravian College is continuing its look back at its 2016-17 athletic campaign. The next event in the Top 10 Exciting Games from the past year is our No. 5 highlight – the men's basketball team defeating Juniata College, 99-97 in double overtime, on two free throws in the final 1.2 seconds.
The Greyhounds, who finished the season with a 19-9 record while reaching the Landmark Conference Championship game and ECAC Division III Tournament Quarterfinals, used the victory to secure a postseason berth for the first time since 2012-13.
On the afternoon of January 21, the Greyhounds hosted Juniata in the first meeting of the season between the schools. The contest was a back-and-forth affair throughout and both teams shot over 52 percent from the floor. The difference in the game would come behind the three-point line where the Blue and Grey were 10-for-25 while the Eagles were just 2-of-16.
Moravian jumped out to a quick 5-0 lead on a jumper from sophomore guard Jimmy Murray and a three-pointer by senior forward Brandon McGuire. Juniata came back and took a lead before freshman guard C.J. Barnes tied the contest at 12-12 with a three-pointer with 14:22 left. The Eagles scored the next seven points to build a 19-12 edge but Moravian came back and tied the contest at 25-25 with 5:53 before halftime with a lay-up from freshman forward John Hargraves. Juniata scored six straight and would eventually head to the locker room with a 39-34 advantage after 20 minutes of action.
The Eagles kept the lead early in the second half before the Hounds closed within a point, 45-44, on a three-pointer by sophomore guard Jake McGee five minutes into the half. Juniata pulled back ahead before McGuire tied the contest at 51-51 with 9:50 left in regulation and senior guard Sean Hanna gave the Greyhounds a 53-51 lead 13 seconds later. The rest of the half would go back-and-forth. The Eagles looked to have the game won with a lay-up with three seconds left on the clock before a buzzer-beater lay-up by Murray knotted the score at 75-75 and sent the game into overtime.
Moravian had the lead for most of the first five-minute overtime with a five-point edge, 88-83, with just 35 seconds left. However, the Eagles would come back and score with five seconds left to tie the game at 89-89. Hanna had a shot at the win but his lay-up rolled off the rim at the buzzer.
The Eagles dominated the second overtime early scoring eight of the first nine points in the second session to build a 97-90 lead with 2:35 to play. The Greyhounds would turn up the defense and not allow Juniata to score again. McGuire connected on a three-pointer with 2:19 to play, and back-to-back lay-ups by Hanna knotted the score at 97-97 with 55 seconds left. Hanna would be fouled driving to the basket in the final seconds and calmly drilled both free throws with 1.2 seconds left to seal the victory.
"This was a great college basketball game," commented Head Coach Justin Potts, who returned to his alma mater in 2015. "Both teams played at high level and competed for 50 minutes. Most college basketball games are decided by five points or less and this was one of those cases where each team had players making plays. We showed some great composure at the end of regulation by getting the ball to Jimmy and attacking the basket to send it to OT.
"Juniata battled back to get it to a second overtime. In the second OT, I was proud of our guys believing we could find away down seven with under three minutes to go," continued Potts. "We believe our style always gives us a chance and in this game the guys found away."
McGuire led the Greyhounds with 19 points to go along with nine rebounds, three steals and a pair of blocked shots while Hanna tossed in 18 points with three assists and a pair of rebounds. McGee had 17 points and six rebounds off of the bench and he was 4-of-6 on three-pointers while Holder had 12 points and six rebounds. Murray was a fifth Hound in double digits with ten points while senior Isaiah Jennings added six points, four assists and three boards.
"When you look back once this season is over, this is one of those games that I think everybody will remember from players to coaches," Potts stated. "It was a great game and the fact it was Alumni day really added to it. Johnston Hall provided great energy all day for our guys."
Read the original game story at http://moraviansports.com/sports/mbkb/2016-17/releases/20170121umx3la with links to stats, photos and video of the game.
The number four highlight in the top 10 exciting games of 2016-17 will be released on Friday, July 14.