BETHLEHEM, Pa. --- The Moravian College women's basketball team overcame a first quarter deficit to defeat William Paterson University, 71-54, in the Championship Game of the 15th Roosevelt's Greyhound Classic in Johnston Hall Sunday afternoon.
The Hounds, now 10-2 overall and 5-0 in the squad's current eight-game home stand, won the program's tenth Greyhound Classic title and are now 26-4 in tournament history. The contest marked the third time that Moravian and William Paterson have played for the title with the Hounds winning in 2009 and 2017 and the Pioneers capturing the title in 2011.
"It was a great team win, with someone stepping up at different times to earn the win against William Paterson," stated Head Coach Mary Beth Spirk. "They are a tough, physical team, so to go out and beat them was a nice way to enter conference play. We started slowly again, but I thought our second half intensity was outstanding. On both ends of the court we really picked up our effort. It is great to win your own tournament and great to start the new year on a positive note."
Graduate student forward Camille McPherson was selected as the tournament's Most Valuable Player for the second straight December after scoring 17 points and adding nine rebounds, six assists and three steals in the victory Sunday. Senior forward Trista Cunningham was named to the All-Tournament Team after recording 10 points, nine boards, four assists, two blocked shots and a pair of steals while sophomore guard Maddie Capuano tossed in 15 points to go along with five rebounds and three assists.
Sophomore forward Nadine Ewald and freshman guard Jennifer McClave each had nine points and four rebounds while senior forward Ciara Stewart contributed eight points and eight boards. Sophomore guard Karlie Brogan added five rebounds and three points while freshman forward Jordan Beneducci had a pair of boards.
Moravian warmed up in the second half, shooting 13-of-29 from the floor after the intermission to finish 24-of-67 in the game. The Greyhounds were 20-for-29 at the foul line, making 10 more free throws than the Pioneers, and the Blue and Grey connected on 3-of-14 beyond the three-point line. Moravian had a 51-38 edge on the glass in the victory.
The Pioneers scored the first four points of the game before Ewald scored just over a minute into action. William Paterson built an 8-3 edge just over three minutes into the game before an 8-0 run to take a lead on a three-point play by McPherson and a lay-up from Stewart for an 11-8 advantage. William Paterson answered back and hit a three-pointer in the final minute of the quarter to lead 19-17 after ten minutes of action.
Stewart scored the first two points of the second period as the Hounds tied the game, and back-to-back baskets by McClave had the Greyhounds up 23-19 with 7:35 before the intermission. Moravian remained ahead for the remainder of the half with Brogan pushing the lead to six points, 34-28, before the Blue and Grey headed to the locker room with a 34-30 edge.
Cunningham opened the second half with a basket for Moravian but the Pioneers would eventually close the gap and knot the score at 41-41 with 4:27 left in the third quarter. McClave hit a three-pointer to give the edge back to the Hounds, and with Moravian up a point, the Greyhounds went on a 7-0 run capped by a lay-up from Capuano for an eight-point edge, 52-44, with 22 seconds left in the quarter.
Leading by seven points entering the final period, Moravian outscored the Pioneers 19-9 over the final ten minutes of action. The advantage hit double digits on a pair of free throws by Cunningham with 6:35 left and it remained over 10 points the rest of the way.
Also named to the All-Tournament Team were Tori Woetzel and Ashley Castillo of William Paterson, Delaney Arbore of Allegheny College and Andrea Watkins from Penn State Lehigh Valley. Allegheny defeated Penn State LV, 66-54, in the consolation game.
The Greyhounds are scheduled to return to action on Saturday, January 6, 2018 when the squad returns to Landmark Conference action by hosting Susquehanna University at 4:00 p.m. in Johnston Hall.