BETHLEHEM, Pa. --- Freshman center Nadine Ewald and senior forward Camille McPherson both posted double-doubles to help the Moravian College women's basketball team hold off Drew University for a 70-61 win in Landmark Conference action Wednesday evening in Johnston Hall as the Greyhounds won their eighth straight contest.
"At this time of year, you're not looking at how you are doing it sometimes since everyone is grinding it out," stated Head Coach Mary Beth Spirk. "We had leads but we just couldn't pull away from them. Drew is a tough team to play against because they can shoot the three and they are really aggressive on the screens. I thought overall rebounding the ball we really did a great job, and Nadine dominated which was nice to see."
Moravian is now 19-5 on the season and 11-2 in Landmark Conference action, one game back of conference leader The Catholic University of America. The two squads meet on Saturday, February 18 in the regular season finale in a winner takes the top seed for the 2017 Landmark Conference Tournament. The Greyhounds' eight-game winning streak marks the fourth time in five seasons and the sixth time in the 10-year history of the Landmark Conference that the program has had an eight-game winning stretch during the season. Moravian also improved to 17-2 this winter when scoring at least 70 points.
"I think what happens is that the players that come here want to be successful and continue the tradition," Spirk commented on the long winning streaks. "It is a little easy to coach when you have players that want to be successful and want to do well. I'm fortunate to be in this situation here at Moravian.
Ewald paced the Hounds with 19 points and 13 boards for her fourth double-double of the season while McPherson added 16 points and 10 rebounds for her eighth double-double of the year. Ewald contributed two steals while McPherson had three assists. Freshman guard Maddie Capuano also ended up in double figures for the Greyhounds with 14 points to go with seven boards and a pair of assists.
Senior guard Morgan Calabrese tossed in nine points while freshman guard Karlie Brogan, sophomore forward Ariana Caiati and junior forward Trista Cunningham each had four points. Brogan pulled down seven rebounds while Cunningham had four boards and Caiati added three rebounds.
The two key stats for the Blue and Grey were on the glass where Moravian had a 48-21 edge in rebounds and at the foul line where the Greyhounds shot 21-of-26 while Drew was just 5-of-6 at the charity stripe.
The Rangers opened the scoring before back-to-back baskets from Ewald put Moravian up 4-2. Drew would move back in front, eventually leading 11-7 with 4:15 left in the first quarter. McPherson connected on a three-pointer and Capuano scored on a lay-up off of a pass from McPherson as the Greyhounds moved ahead. Cunningham hit an inside basket and Brogan made two free throws in the final 30 seconds as the Blue and Grey led 16-13 after 10 minutes of action.
Capuano opened the second quarter with a three-pointer, and she pushed the Moravian advantage to seven points, 23-16, with a pair of free throws a minute and a half into the period. The Rangers then ran off seven straight points to tie the contest. Moravian answered to move back in front by four, 29-25, after a lay-up by Caiati, and the Greyhounds scored the final five points of the half to head to the locker room with a 34-27 lead.
The teams traded baskets at the start of the third quarter before a three-pointer by Capuano, a three-point play by Ewald and a jumper from Calabrese has the Greyhounds leading 44-31 with 6:25 left in the period. Drew would close the gap back down to four points with 2:41 on the clock. McPherson drained a three-pointer to push the lead back up, and Ewald came up with a steal and tracked the ball down before throwing up a shot that caromed in off of the glass as the buzzer sounded to put Moravian ahead 61-48 after 30 minutes of action.
Moravian went just over four minutes before scoring in the fourth quarter as Brogan's lay-up had the Hounds up 63-54. Drew continued to battle and closed within four points, 65-61, with 2:40 remaining but the Greyhounds' defense would not allow a point the rest of the way. After a three-point play by Calabrese at the 2:00 mark pushed the lead to 70-61, neither team scored again as Moravian held on for the win.
The Greyhounds are scheduled to close out the 2016-17 regular season on Saturday, February 18 when the squad hosts No. 23 Catholic in a Landmark Conference contest set to tip-off at 2:00 p.m. Moravian will be hosting its annual Play 4Kay game to raise money for the Kay Yow Cancer Fund, and the Greyhounds will wear pink uniforms for the ninth straight season but a new style this year. Moravian also has its annual Alumni game slated for 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, Senior Day before the contest and a tribute to the 1991-92 national runner-up squad at halftime as they celebrate their 25th anniversary.