BETHLEHEM, Pa. --- The Moravian College men's basketball team raced out to a 17-0 lead and scored 66 points in the opening 20 minutes of action as the Greyhounds defeated Susquehanna University, 106-74, in Landmark Conference action in Johnston Hall Saturday afternoon.
"I think the first 20 minutes were as well as we played, not only all year but in the last three years," stated Head Coach Justin Potts. "We did a lot of really good things on both ends of the floor. I think we got Susquehanna on its heels a little bit, and from there we continued to execute. I've done this long enough to know they just had a bad day and we had a pretty good one. Coach Frank Marcinek has a better team than that. I was pleased with a lot of the things that we did. The biggest thing is you take the win and try to move on and get ready for the next one on the road. It really was a great team effort on both ends of the floor."
The Hounds, now 10-3 overall and 2-0, in Landmark Conference play used a balanced scoring attack with all 15 players seeing action, 13 of them scoring, and just two in double figures. Junior guard Nicholas Casazza tossed in a career-high 20 points to lead Moravian while junior guard Jimmy Murray was the only other player in double digits with 16 points.
Junior forward Oneil Holder tossed in nine points to go with a team-high eight rebounds as well as three assists and a pair of steals for Moravian freshmen guards Matt O'Connor and Keith Otto, senior guard Matt Cardonne and sophomore forward Addis Ralph all scored eight points. Ralph added five boards and three blocked shots while Otto and Cardonne both had three rebounds. Sophomores guard Elijah Davis and forward C.J. Barnes each scored seven points with Davis adding two rebounds, two assists and a pair of steals while sophomore guard Mike Martino had six points and three assists.
The Greyhounds were hot from the field, connecting on 35-of-59 field goal attempts (59.3 percent) including 21-of-32 in the first half. Moravian was also 15-of-24 beyond the three-point line and 21-of-23 at the charity stripe. The Blue and Grey's pressure defense forced the River Hawks into 22 turnovers in the game.
Holder scored off of a rebound on the Greyhounds' opening possession to start a 17-0 run to begin the game with Casazza hitting back-to-back three-pointers as Moravian led 17-0 just over five minutes into action. After the River Hawks scored, Casazza hit another three-pointer and O'Connor followed with a three-pointer to push the Blue and Grey's edge to 21 points at 23-2 with 13:33 left in the half. Moravian's edge ballooned to 31 points, 40-9, on a pair of free throws by Martino, and the Hounds led by as many as 33 points before heading to the locker room with a 66-35 advantage.
Moravian's lead would remain above 28 points the entire second half, reaching a high of 36 points, 98-62, on a lay-up by Aaron Brown with 5:16 remaining.
The Greyhounds are slated to return to action in a Landmark Conference game at Drew University on Wednesday, January 10 with tip-off at 7:00 p.m. in Madison, New Jersey.