Juniata Men Down Thiel in Hoops

(Posted January 5, 2005)

Juniata 91, Thiel 87

Greenville, Pa. ? The Juniata College men?s basketball team had been looking for a breakout offensive game for much of the season. That breakout came Wednesday night as Juniata shot 47-percent from the field and had four starters score in double figures en route to a 91-87 victory over Thiel College in Greenville.

Travis Boyd (Juniata Valley/Barree) and Tommy McConnell (Bishop Guilfoyle/Hollidaysburg) both notched 21 points for Juniata (4-7), with Boyd also reaching double figures with 12 rebounds. Aaron Chamberlain (Tussey Mountain/Wood) scored 16 for the Eagles, with Nick Hager adding 13.

Thiel also had four players score in double figures as Percy Sweeting topped the team with 19 points. Damien Williams contributed 17, while Joe Hermann and CJ Hunt scored 15 and 13 respectively. Hermann paced the squad with seven rebounds, while Daryl Moore passed out a game-high five assists.

The game was offensive throughout as both teams shot better than 50-percent from the field and 40-percent from beyond the three-point line. Juniata was also extremely aggressive offensively as the Blue and Gold attempted 43 free throws in the game, converting 37.

Juniata trailed only once in the second half after a three from Williams gave the home team a 59-58 edge. Juniata responded with a 10-0 run, highlighted by back-to-back threes from Boyd and Chamberlain.

The lead remained in Juniata?s favor the rest of the way, though the home team cut the lead to one with a Ross Watson three with 18 seconds remaining. McConnell hit the second of two free throws to put Juniata up 89-87 and then Thiel committed an offensive foul on its attempt to tie the score. Chamberlain then closed the game out with a pair of free throws. Juniata did not have a field goal in the final 7:50 of the game, but went 20-25 from the line during the stretch to secure the win.

Juniata took a one-point lead into the half, and quickly surged in front by seven after a basket from Chris Jasiota (Oil City/Oil City). Thiel rallied to tie the score at 56 with 12:54 left, then answered a McConnell bucket with Williams? three to take its first lead.

The lead went back-and-forth throughout the first 20 minutes, with neither team ever holding more than a seven-point edge. Tied at 31 with 3:49 remaining in the half, Juniata posted an 11-4 run to pull in front by seven. Hager scored four points during the stretch, only to see Thiel close the half with six unanswered points, to give Juniata a one-point edge heading into halftime.

Juniata will be back on the road on Saturday when the Eagles play at Westminster.

JUNIATA (91): Jasiota 1 6-7 8, Chamberlain 2 10-10 16, Boyd 7 3-4 21, McConnell 6 6-8 21, Hager 5 2-2 13, Byer 0 0-0 0, Ferko 1 1-2 3, Opitz 0 2-2 2, Holencik 0 0-0 0, Holloway 0 7-8 7, Cannon 0 0-0 0. Totals ? 22 37-43 91

THIEL (87): Moore 4 0-0 9, Laird 1 1-2 3, Hunt 4 3-3 13, Williams 7 1-1 17, Slater 0 1-2 1, Passerrello 1 2-3 4, Herrmann 4 4-8 15, Watson 1 3-4 6, Gates 0 0-0 0, Sweeting 7 5-7 19. Totals ? 29 20-30 87

Halftime: Juniata 42-41. 3-point goals: Juniata 10 (Boyd 4, McConnell 3, Chamberlain 2, Hager); Thiel 9 (Herrmann 3, Hunt 2, Williams 2, Moore, Watson). Assists: Juniata 12 (Chamberlain, Hager, Ferko 2); Thiel 14 (Moore 5). Rebounds: Juniata 34 (Boyd 12); Thiel 27 (Herrmann 7).

Records: Juniata (4-7); Thiel (4-8.


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Contact John Wall at wallj@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3132 for more information.