GETTYSBURG, Pa. --- The Moravian College men's basketball team rallied from a 12-point deficit with just over seven minutes remaining to post a 96-89 overtime victory over Bridgewater (Va.) College in the Championship game of the 2017 Gettysburg College Tip-Off Tournament.
The Greyhounds, now 3-0 on the year for the first time in more than 20 years, played its second straight overtime contest against the Eagles as the two squads played a double-overtime game last December in the opening round of Bridgewater's Don Glick Classic.
Junior forward Oneil Holder was named the tournament's Most Valuable Player after recording his first double-double of the season and the eighth of his career as he scored a career-high 27 points and tied his career-best with 18 rebounds to go along with two steals and a pair of blocked shots. Sophomore guard C.J. Barnes tossed in a career-high 19 points as he was named to the All-Tournament Team, and Barnes also had four rebounds and two steals. Sophomore guard Elijah Davis netted a career-best for the second straight game as he scored 20 points to go with four boards while junior guard Jimmy Murray also scored in double figures with 17 points to go along with two rebounds and two assists.
Junior guards Will Brazukas and Nicholas Casazza each tossed in three points with Brazukas adding six assists and Casazza contributing three rebounds and a pair of assists. Sophomore guard Tyron Brown and freshmen guards Matt O'Connor and Shon Wilson each scored two points while senior guard Matt Cardonne contributed two rebounds and a point.
The Greyhounds were 36-of-73 from the floor (49.3 percent) and 10-for-31 (32.3 percent) beyond the three-point line in the victory. The Hounds pressure defense forced Bridgewater into 16 turnovers in the game while the Blue and Grey had just nine turnovers to go with 12 assists. For the first time this season, the Greyhounds were out-rebounded as the Eagles had a 47-41 edge on the boards including a 14-7 advantage on the offensive glass.
Moravian opened the scoring on a lay-up by Murray on the squad's first possession of the afternoon, and a lay-up from Holder had the Greyhounds leading 7-3 two minutes into action. Holder pushed that advantage to five points, 16-11, on a three-pointer with just over 14 minutes left in the half before a 10-0 run by Bridgewater gave the Eagles a 21-16 lead with ten and a half minutes until the intermission.
Bridgewater held the lead the rest of the half and headed to the locker room with a 46-42 advantage. The Greyhounds had a hot shooting first half as the squad connected on 17-of-33 field goal attempts (51.5 percent) but it was a 12-3 edge on the offensive glass that had the Eagles leading.
Holder hit a lay-up to start the second half and pull the Blue and Grey within two points, and a jumper by Murray had Moravian down just 47-46 with 17:43 on the clock. Bridgewater answered with a 6-0 run to build a 53-46 advantage while the Hounds would get back within three points, 55-52, on a jumper by Wilson with 13:32 to go. The Eagles went on another run to push their edge into double figures for the first time at 64-53 with 11:05 remaining and that advantage reached 12 points twice, the second time at 73-61 with 7:18 left on the clock.
From that point, Moravian would finish regulation with a 21-9 run to knot the score at 82-82 after 40 minutes of action. Down by seven with 1:43 remaining, Holder and Davis both made lay-ups to cut the deficit to 82-79 while a three-point play by Barnes with 42 ticks left on the clock tied the game. Holder had a baseline jumper at the buzzer bounce off the front of the rim that would have given Moravian the victory in regulation.
The Eagles scored first in overtime with a free throw before a three-pointer by Casazza put Moravian ahead for good, 85-83, with 4:26 on the clock. Bridgewater cut the Hounds' advantage to one on three occasions before a three-pointer by Davis with 1:05 to play followed by a lay-up from Holder and two free throws by Brown sealed the victory.
The Greyhounds are scheduled to return to action on Tuesday, November 21 in a non-conference game at DeSales University. Tip-off is slated for 8:00 p.m. and the contest will be the second of the season for Moravian that will be broadcast live by TV-2 Sports.
Photo courtesy of Gettysburg College Athletic Communications.