BETHLEHEM, Pa. --- The Moravian College men's basketball team returned to action after a short holiday break with an 87-66 victory over Bryn Athyn College in the opening day of the 38th Roosevelt's Greyhound Classic in Johnston Hall.
The Greyhounds, now 9-2 on the season, had a pair of players in double figures led by junior forward Oneil Holder, who scored a game-high 19 points to go with a team-high seven points and five steals. Sophomore guard Elijah Davis added 11 points and four assists.
Sophomore guard C.J. Barnes contributed nine points and six rebounds while sophomore guard Mike Martino, junior guard Nicholas Casazza and sophomore forward Addis Ralph all had eight points with Ralph grabbing three rebounds. Junior guards Will Brazukas and Jimmy Murray each scored seven points with Brazukas dishing out five assists. Senior guard Matt Cardonne netted five points to go with four boards while freshman guard Matt O'Connor added three points and two rebounds and freshman guard Keith Otto had four rebounds and two points.
"I thought we did some good things and we started the game well," stated Head Coach Justin Potts. "I thought our bench helped us, and Mike Martino played really well. I thought our depth became a factor as the game wore on. We had a little bit of a lull in the middle of the first half but then played really well again to start the second half.
"I think we are starting to figure some things out," Potts continued. "We played really well against Eastern, and today was a game where I thought we played really good for 25 or 30 minutes. We just have to keep trying to build. We have one more non-conference game tomorrow and then into the conference for the rest of the season. Our guys understand what they have in front of them tomorrow and they just have to keep trying to find ways to get better."
The Blue and Grey started out with a hot-shooting first half where the team went 17-of-34 from the floor before shooting 31-of-65 for the game. The Greyhounds heated up beyond the three-point line in the second half, going 10-for-22 after the intermission and finishing 15-of-39 beyond the arc in the contest. Moravian was also 10-of-11 at the foul line on the evening and had a 34-32 edge on the boards. The Hounds pressure defense forced Bryn Athyn into 28 turnovers.
Brazukas opened the scoring for Moravian with a jumper at 19:11 before the Lions tied the game 13 seconds later. Holder connected on a three-pointer at 18:22 as the Greyhounds took the lead for the remainder of the evening. Back-to-back three-pointers by Martino and Davis pushed the Hounds' edge to double digits at 20-10, and Holder finished off a 10-0 run with a jumper to make the advantage 24-10 with 10:47 left in the first half. Moravian's lead would reach 17 points, 33-16, on a three-pointer from Martino with 7:30 until the intermission but the Lions finished the half with a 17-9 run to head to the locker room trailing the Greyhounds, 40-31.
Davis hit a quick three-pointer to start the second half but Bryn Athyn eventually closed within seven points at 62-55 with 8:31 remaining. Moravian answered with a pair of free throws by Casazza and a Davis three-pointer to push the advantage back into double digits, and the Blue and Grey's lead would hit 20 points, 81-61, on a three-pointer from Barnes with 4:11 to play.
The Hounds will return to action on Sunday, December 31 when the squad hosts Hamilton (N.Y.) College in the second day of the 38th Roosevelt's Greyhound Classic in Johnston Hall with tip-off set for 3:30 p.m. The tournament will not have a consolation or championship game on Sunday with the match-ups set before play began.