Greyhounds Open 2017-18 Slate with Hard-Fought Game Versus Rival Muhlenberg

Karlie Brogan '20 lets a three-pointer go during the first half versus Muhlenberg College.
Karlie Brogan '20 lets a three-pointer go during the first half versus Muhlenberg College.

BETHLEHEM, Pa. --- The Moravian College women's basketball team began its 2017-18 season with a 79-71 non-conference loss to rival Muhlenberg College in Johnston Hall Wednesday evening.

The Greyhounds, who along with the Mules received votes in the Preseason Top 25 Poll, had five players in double figures with sophomore guard Maddie Capuano and Karlie Brogan netting 15 points to lead the squad. Capuano added five assists while Brogan pulled down a team-high eight rebounds to go with a pair of assists and two blocked shots. Graduate student forward Camille McPherson, who was hampered by an injury, tossed in 11 points and added six boards while senior forwards Trista Cunningham and Ciara Stewart both had ten points with Stewart pulling down five rebounds and Cunningham adding three assists and a pair of boards.

Sophomore forward Nadine Ewald had six points, five rebounds and four assists while freshman guard Jennifer McClave contributed five rebounds, four assists and two points in her collegiate debut. Junior guard Tyis Mullen had a pair of points while senior forward Jen Cella and freshman guard Julia Sirotnak both had two rebounds.

"Our effort was there, but we lacked execution at times," stated Head Coach Mary Beth Spirk. "Muhlenberg is a very good team and made plays down the stretch. We will hopefully learn from this and get ready to play Saturday."

The Hounds shot 35.2 percent (25-of-71) from the floor for the game, and the squad was 6-for-19 beyond the three-point line and 15-of-20 at the foul line. Moravian struggled shooting the ball in the second half, making just 9-of-38 field goal attempts and 1-of-11 three-pointers after the intermission. The Blue and Grey had 45 rebounds, and 19 assists on opening night.

Moravian started the game quick with three-pointers from Brogan and Capuano in the first 42 seconds or a 6-2 lead but the Mules answered back and lead 11-8 just 3:17 minutes into the first quarter. The Greyhounds went on a 7-0 run to move ahead 15-11 on a jumper by Capuano, and Moravian extended the lead to 21-13 on a fast break lay-up by Capuano with 3:26 left in the first quarter. The Mules scored eight of the final 10 points of the stanza as the Hounds led 23-21 after ten minutes of action.

The Mules tied the game at 23-23 on the opening possession of the second quarter and would eventually take a 32-27 advantage. Moravian fought back and tied the score at 34-34 on a pair of free throws by Brogan, and the Blue and Grey took a 37-34 lead on another three-pointer by Brogan with 3:51 until halftime. A late lay-up from Stewart sent the Hounds to the locker room trailing by two points, 43-41.

After Cunningham started the second half with a lay-up to knot the score for the seventh time in the game, the Mules ran off five straight points. Moravian eventually retook the lead, 51-50, on a pair of McPherson free throws with 5:51 left in the third quarter but the Mules retook the lead for good and led 62-59 after 30 minutes of action. Muhlenberg would lead the entire fourth quarter as well.

The Greyhounds are slated to return to action on Saturday, November 18 in the opening round of the Rinso Marquette Tournament at Lebanon Valley College with a game versus Eastern University beginning at 7:00 p.m. in Annville.