FDU-Florham holds off late rally to defeat No. 21 Moravian in tournament
BETHLEHEM, Pa. -- After getting off to the best start in school history and starting 2-0 in Freedom Conference play, FDU-Florham added a big win on Thursday, beating No. 21 Moravian 83-79 in the championship game of the Moravian Tournament. FDU had four different players score in double digits during the game.
Sophomore forward Kyra Dayon was named the tournament MVP while junior guard Jalessa Lewis was named to the All-Tournament team.
With the win, the Devils won their 10th consecutive game and improved to 11-1 while the Greyhounds suffered their first loss of the season and also stand at 11-1.
FDU fell behind by a score of 17-7 with 13 minutes left in the first half. The Devils came right back and cut it to 17-15 just two minutes later, but Moravian held a 30-22 edge with 6:25 remaining. With 1:50 left before halftime, Dayon made a three-point play to make it 38-35. The Greyhounds scored the final basket of the half however, and went into the locker room with a 40-35 advantage.
Trailing by 55-47 with 13:22 to go in the game, FDU made its move, reeling off a 17-8 run during the next six minutes to take a 64-63 lead thanks to six points from freshman center Rachel Groom. Moravian regained its compusure and went up 69-66, with 5:51 to play. Lewis then hit a 3-pointer to tie it at 69 before a layup by Dayon and two free throws from Groom gave FDU a 73-69 advantage with 4:41 left.
The Greyhounds pulled within two (73-71), but Groom knocked home 3-of-4 free throws to put FDU on top 76-71 with 3:03 remaining. Moravian made it 76-73, but Lewis responded with a layup to put the Devils back on top by five, 78-73, with 1:53 to play. Moravian scored with 26 seconds to go to get within three, but Groom sank a layup with 15 seconds remaining to make it 82-77. After a jumper by the Greyhounds made it 82-79 with eight seconds left, Moravian was forced to foul, but Lewis stepped up and made 1-of-2 free throws to seal the win and give FDU the tournament championship.
"Our kids played with guts [Thursday]," FDU head coach Marc Mitchell said. "We learned a lot losing to Lebanon Valley ... earlier in the season and we won't let it happen again."
Dayon finished the contest with 21 points and eight steals, while Lewis recorded a near triple-double with 19 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists. Groom notched 15 points and six boards, while sophomore forward Delisha Thompson added 13 points.