By Chris McManes
BETHLEHEM, PA. – Senior Marcus Hardy hit an uncontested layup in the lane with 3.9 seconds left to complete Moravian College's rally past Catholic University, 71-69, on Friday evening at Johnston Hall.
When Shawn Holmes' desperation shot from just inside halfcourt fell short, the Greyhounds celebrated the end to their four-game losing streak to the Cardinals. Moravian improved to 5-7 and 1-1 in the Landmark Conference. CUA fell to 11-2 and 1-1.
D.J. Strayhorn scored a game-high 18 points for the Greyhounds, Izel Dickerson added 16 and Garrett Johnson 15. Darrell Carroll paced the Cards with 13 points and nine rebounds. Chris Kearney had 12 points, nine boards and four blocks. Nate Koenig chipped in 10 points.
CUA committed 18 turnovers and the Greyhounds turned them into 23 points. The Cardinals dominated on the boards, 45-31, but got outscored 14-2 on fastbreak opportunities.
Moravian called timeout with 11 seconds to go and worked the ball around to the right until Cameron Cullen found Hardy all alone under the basket. The Greyhounds trailed by as much as 10 points in the first half.
The Cards parlayed an early 11-0 run to lead 21-11 on a Koenig 3-pointer. They closed on an 8-3 spurt to take a 40-31 lead into the break.
Moravian turned up the defensive pressure in the CUA backcourt at the start of second half and trimmed the Cards' lead to 46-43. CUA looked like it was about to go up five but Carroll, after grabbing an offensive rebound and getting ready to put the ball back up, got stripped underneath. Strayhorn came down and drained a triple to tie the game and spark a 16-2 blitz that put the Greyhounds up, 59-48, with 10:31 to play.
The Cardinals fought back to go ahead, 65-64, when Carroll scored in the lane. Strayhorn hit a long jumper and Hardy made a follow shot to put Moravian back on top by three. Carroll tied it at 69 with two clutch free throws with 21.5 seconds remaining before Hardy's heroics.
Hardy, who didn't start, finished with just six points but corralled a team-best seven rebounds. He had three blocks in the lane after halftime, including two on one sequence with a little over four minutes to play and the Greyhounds leading 63-60. With 51 seconds left he blocked Holmes' driving layup to preserve Moravian's 68-67 lead.
Koenig, who made both of the Cards' 3-pointers (2-for-11), sank one from the right corner to draw CUA to within 64-63.
The Cardinals have lost two straight after a school-best 11-0 start. They play at the University of Scranton on Saturday at 2 p.m.
Cardinals fall at Moravian, 71-69
By Chris McManes