Men’s Hoops Drops Double OT Heartbreaker to Moravian 99-97

Brandon Martinazzi had the first double-double of his career with 17 points and 11 rebounds.
Brandon Martinazzi had the first double-double of his career with 17 points and 11 rebounds.

BETHLEHEM, Pa.- Juniata led 97-90 with 2:35 left in double overtime but host Moravian outscored the Eagles 9-0 to come out with a 99-97 victory on Saturday night. The Greyhounds' Sean Hanna sank a pair of free throws with one second left to break a 97-97 tie.


The loss puts JC's overall record at 9-8 and 1-5 in the Landmark. The Hounds improve to 11-6 and 4-2 in the conference.


The Eagles trailed 7-4 early in the first half but used an 8-1 run to go ahead 12-9. After Moravian's C.J. Barnes made a three-point shot to tie the contest at 12-12, JC embarked on a 9-4 run to take a 21-16 lead with 8:32 left in the first half. Moravian once again tied the game, this time 25-25 with 5:53 remaining on the game clock, and the Eagles used an 8-1 run to go up 33-26 at 4:31. Juniata led 39-34 at the half.


Following a three-point basket from Paul Martello (York, Pa./York Catholic) with 13:26 to play in the second half, Moravian went on its biggest run of the game, 13-1, to take a 57-52 lead at 9:07. It would be short-lived as a three-pointer from Damon Rickens (Altoona, Pa./Bishop Guilfoyle) and a layup from Brandon Martinazzi (Cresson, Pa./Bishop Carroll) tied everything at 57-57 with 8:31 to go.


In 5:12 of game time, there would be six lead changes and three ties. A layup by Martinazzi gave JC a 72-69 lead with 2:15 to play. Following a jumper from the Greyhounds' Jake McGee that cut the Eagle lead to one point, Marcus Lee's (Carrolltown, Pa./Bishop Carroll) second of two free throws restored the JC advantage to two points, 73-71, with 1:37 remaining. The score stood that way until Hanna converted a layup for Moravian with 11 ticks showing. Martello answered for JC with a layup of his own with three seconds left but the Greyhounds took the ball all the way down to its own end where Jimmy Murray scored with time expiring to send the game to an extra period.


In the first overtime, the Hounds' lead grew to 83-79 with 1:46 remaining and was as much as five points, 88-83, at 1:35. It was 89-85 with 30 seconds left and layup from Martinazzi made it 89-87 with 15 seconds left. A foul by Seth Brewer (Lancaster, Pa./Manheim Township) put Hanna on the line but he would miss both free throws. Martello picked up the defensive rebound and the Eagles marched down the court to tie the game. Trevor Clune's (Meadville, Pa./Meadville Area) layup with five seconds left was in and Hanna's last second chance for the game winner was denied as the game headed to a second overtime.


Juniata started the second overtime period on an 8-1 run and looked like it was going to put the Greyhounds away. A 7-0 run for Moravian tied it up at 97-97 with less than a minute to go. Marinazzi was off on his jump shot that would give JC back the lead and he would foul Hanna who sank both free throws for the game-winning points.


Four of Juniata's five starters reached double digits in scoring led by Lee's 22 points on 9-of-14 shooting. Brewer added 18 points as he shot 6-of-7 from the floor. He also had four rebounds and three steals. Martinazzi had the first double-double performance of his career with 17 points and 11 rebounds. Clune added 13 points and five rebounds.


The Eagles also received strong performance off the bench. Martello scored 13 points and grabbed seven rebounds. Dennis Fisher (Bellefonte, Pa./Bald Eagle Area) finished with 11 points.


JC shot nearly 53% from the floor on the night. The Eagles outrebounded the Greyhounds 46-35. They also had a big presence in the paint with a 64-38 advantage.


Juniata will look to stop its three-game winless streak when it travels to Elizabethtown to play the Blue Jays on Wednesday. Tip-off will be at 7:00 p.m.