Juniata MBB drops hard-fought decision to Carnegie Mellon
(Posted January 5, 2008)
HUNTINGDON, Pa. â?" Juniata College failed to take advantage of sub-par free-throw shooting by Carnegie Mellon down the stretch, allowing the Tartans to escape the Kennedy Sports + Recreation Center with a 77-67 victory, Saturday night in Huntingdon, Pa.
Trailing the Tartans by two possessions for much of the second half, Juniata pulled to within one point of CMU, 58-57, with 3:06 on the clock on a jumper by Brian Cannon (Fallston, Md./Fallston).
That would be Juniataâ??s last bucket of the game. The Eagles (6-5, 0-1 Landmark) went 0-of-5 from the field over the remaining three minutes, and were unable to take advantage of Carnegie Mellonâ??s 5-of-8 performance at the line and 1-of-3 shooting from the floor during that stretch.
Juniata trailed 33-24 coming out of the locker room at halftime, but Brent Ferko (Sarver, Pa./Freeport) scored seven straight points to open the second half, closing the deficit to just two points by the 18:41 mark. Greg Gonzalez responded with a layup and a pair of foul shots to extend the Tartan lead to four, setting the tone for the rest of the half. The Eagles pulled to within a basket of catching CMU, only to see the Tartans respond and protect their lead.
Both teams struggled to find their offense during the first half, with Juniata going nearly 10 minutes â?" from the 11:15 mark of the first half all the way down to just 1:35 remaining in the opening frame â?" without a field goal. CMU had its own shooting drought, failing to make a bucket from the 12:32 point in the first half to the 4:41 mark.
Ferko led the Eagles with 20 points on 9-of-14 shooting from the field, while Cannon tallied 17 points with a team-high nine rebounds.
Carnegie Mellon (8-2, 0-1 UAA) was paced offensively by Greg Gonzalez with a 21-point, 10-rebound double-double. CMU senior and Huntingdon native Geoff Kozak scored 13 points with seven boards in his first collegiate game in his hometown, while Ryan Einwag tallied 13 points.
CMU outshot Juniata, 40.7% to 38.7%, but the Tartans were forced into 17 turnovers which yielded 21 Juniata points.
The Eagles return to action on Monday, Jan. 7, when they travel to Washington, D.C., to face Gallaudet University.
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