BETHLEHEM, Pa. --- Junior forward Nadine Ewald hit the winning free throw with 3.3 seconds left to finish with a career-high 28 points and junior guard Maddie Capuano tossed in a career-best 40 points as the Moravian College women's basketball team began the 2018-19 Landmark Conference Season with a 93-92 win over visiting Elizabethtown College in Johnston Hall Saturday afternoon.
"It was a great way to start conference play," stated Head Coach Mary Beth Spirk. "Maddie and Nadine put the team on their backs and led us the entire game. But we also got solid contributions from our bench which was crucial. We could have hung our heads when they tied it, but we executed the final play and Nadine stepped up and hit the foul shot for the win."
The Greyhounds, who are now 6-1 overall and 1-0 in Landmark Conference action, and the Blue Jays combined to score 70 of the game's 185 points in the final 10 minutes and each team scored 57 points in the second half.
Ewald had a game-high 13 rebounds to go with her career-high 28 points for the 14th double-double of her career and second of the season, and she was 11-for-16 from the floor and seven of her 13 rebounds were on the offensive end. Capuano becomes just the second player in school history to score 40 points in a game, finishing just one shy of Kathy Beck DeKorte's mark of 41 set in 1992. Capuano was 12-for-22 from the floor an 15-of-17 at the foul line, and she had five rebounds and three steals.
Sophomore guard Jennifer McClave and senior forward Ariana Caiati each scored six points with McClave adding four rebounds, two assists and a pair of blocked shots and Caiati pulling down six boards. Senior guard/forward Caitlin Flanagan had five points and three rebounds off of the bench while junior guard Karlie Brogan added four points, nine rebounds and a pair of assists. Junior guard Brooke Santy and sophomore forward Jordan Beneducci both had two points.
The Greyhounds finished 30-of-62 from the floor after shooting 18-of-31 in the second half, and the squad was 32-of-44 at the floor line while going 1-for-9 beyond the three-point line. The Blue and Grey held a 47-39 advantage on the boards in the victory, the second straight for the squad.
Capuano opened the scoring with a lay-up before a three-pointer had the Blue Jays up 3-2. Moravian would go on a 9-0 run to build an 11-3 edge after back-to-back baskets by Ewald with 5:26 left in the first quarter. Elizabethtown closed back within four points before Ewald pushed the advantage to 16-7 with a pair of free throws at the 1:36 mark. Capuano hit a late jumper as the Greyhounds led 18-13 after 10 minutes of action.
The Blue Jays would close the gap in the second quarter, eventually tying the contest at 24-24 with 5:37 left in the period. Capuano and Ewald combined to put Moravian up 29-24 before Elizabethtown answered with an 8-0 run to take a 32-29 advantage. Brogan would grab a late offensive rebound and hit a reverse lay-up just before the horn sounded to send the Blue and Grey to the locker room with a 36-35 edge.
The third quarter would go back-and-forth with five ties and five lead changes before the Blue Jays took a 56-52 lead with 2:28 left in the quarter. Caiati hit a late lay-up and Ewald sank a free throw with two-tenths of a second on the clock as Moravian trailed 58-57 after three quarters of action.
Ewald hit a lay-up to start the half as the Hounds moved back in front. Elizabethtown answered to go ahead 60-59 but a three-point play by Capuano gave the Blue and Grey the lead at the 9:02 mark for 8:55. Capuano pushed the advantage to eight points on three separate occasions before the Blue Jays pulled within one with 1:10 to play. Ewald hit a lay-up and Capuano connected on four free throws to put the Greyhounds' lead back to 89-82 with 24 seconds left. Capuano had the advantage at three-points 92-89 with 12 seconds left before a three-pointer by Elizabethtown hit a three-pointer to knot the score at 92-92. Ewald was fouled on a drive to the basket with 3.3 seconds left and hit the first shot for the lead before missing the second, which didn't allow Elizabethtown to get close enough for a final shot.
Moravian will be right back on the floor with a non-conference game at The College of New Jersey on Monday, December 3 beginning at 7:00 p.m.