CENTER VALLEY, Pa. --- The Moravian College men's basketball team dropped its first game of the 2017-18 season, falling to host DeSales University, 73-67, in non-conference action Tuesday night.
The Greyhounds, who are now 3-1 on the year, head into the short Thanksgiving break before resuming the remaining two games of a five-game road trip.
Sophomore guard C.J. Barnes led the Hounds with 15 points to go with four rebounds while junior guard Nicholas Casazza and sophomore guard Elijah Davis both tossed in 12 points with Casazza adding three rebounds and a pair of steals. Junior forward Oneil Holder contributed nine points, a team-high eight rebounds, two assists and two steals while freshman guard Shon Wilson had eight points.
Freshman guard Matt O'Connor had career-highs of seven points and five rebounds in his first career start, playing for junior guard Jimmy Murray who missed the game with an injury. Junior guard Will Brazukas dished out a game-high seven assists to go with four points while sophomore guard Tyron Brown had a pair of rebounds and sophomore forward Addis Ralph blocked two shots.
Moravian finished the game shooting 23-of-70 from the floor (32.9 percent) after a poor shooting second half when the squad made just 9-of-37 field goal attempts. For the third time in four games this winter, the Greyhounds attempted more than 40 three-pointers in the contest, going 14-of-45 beyond the arc including just 5-for-24 in the final 20 minutes of action. The Blue and Grey made just 11 trips to the foul line, making seven free throws while the Bulldogs were 22-of-35 at the foul line. Moravian's pressure defense forced DeSales into 20 turnovers while the Greyhounds had just 11 turnovers. Both teams finished with 14 assists.
DeSales opened the scoring but a three-pointer by Barnes had the Hounds leading 5-2 just under three minutes into the contest. The Greyhounds led by four points, 11-7, after a trey from Wilson, and Casazza had the advantage at five points, 14-9, after he connected from beyond the arc. The Bulldogs answered with a 7-0 run to build a 16-14 lead before Barnes connected on a three-pointers.
The Bulldogs moved ahead 20-17 with 9:22 remaining in the first half before a three-pointer from Holder and a four-point play by Davis had the Greyhounds up 24-20 at the 8:11 mark. Wilson pushed the edge to six points on a trey with 3:39 before the intermission, and O'Connor's only three-pointer of the night had the Hounds up by eight points, 36-28, with 2:46 on the clock. Holder finished the half with a jumper at the buzzer to send the Blue and Grey to the locker room with a 38-33 lead.
DeSales started the second half with a 13-0 run to build a 46-38 edge three minutes into the second period. Davis scored for straight points for Moravian to cut the deficit to four points but that would be as close as the Greyhounds would get the rest of the night. The Bulldogs eventually pushed the lead to 14 points, 63-49, with 6:46 remaining. Barnes and Casazza hit three-pointers in the final 23 seconds but it wasn't enough for Moravian to close the gap.
The Greyhounds are scheduled to return to action on Wednesday, November 29 in a non-conference game at Delaware Valley University beginning at 7:00 p.m.