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Second-Half Surge Falls Short For Basketball Men

(Posted November 23, 2004)

Tommy McConnell scored a team-high 10 points in Juniata\'s non-conference outing against Bridgewater.

Bridgewater 67, Juniata 60

Huntingdon, Pa. ? A spirited second-half comeback fell just short as the Juniata College men?s basketball team dropped a 67-60 decision to Bridgewater College (Va.) in Huntingdon Tuesday night. Juniata fell to 1-2 with the loss, while the visitors upped their record to 3-0.

Juniata trailed by 11 with 5:27 to play after Bridgewater?s Harry Moore sank a pair of free throws. Juniata then responded with a 9-0 run over the next four minutes highlighted by a three from Tommy McConnell (Bishop Guilfoyle/Hollidaysburg) and four points from Kyle Opitz (Pine Richland/Gibsonia).

Juniata trailed 57-55, but this time the visitors answered with a 6-0 run taking a 63-55 lead with 34 seconds remaining. Aaron Chamberlain (Tussey Mountain/Saxton) answered for Juniata with a three, cutting the lead to four with 18 ticks on the clock, but Bridgewater hit its
free throws down the stretch to close out the victory.

Despite a strong defensive effort, Juniata struggled to find its rhythm at the offensive end. The home team shot just 38-percent from the field in the first half, which included a four minute stretch in which Juniata scored one point on a free throw. Bridgewater turned a two-point deficit lead into a five-point lead. The lead would grow to as large as 10 in the first half.

Bridgewater pulled out to a 12-point edge early in the second stanza. Juniata twice cut the lead to seven with baskets from Nick Hager (Franklin/Franklin) and Brett Ferko (Freeport/Sarver). The lead would get back up into double digits before Juniata?s late charge.

McConnell finished with a team-high 10 points for Juniata, while also passing out five assists. Chris Jasiota (Oil City/Oil City) and Opitz each added nine points. Travis Boyd (Juniata Valley/Barree) grabbed a team-high six rebounds.

Moore paced all players with 20 points on the game. C.W. Durrette and Ricky Easterling each had 12 points for the visitors. Durrette led the team with a pair of assists, while Matt Fitzgerald finished with seven rebounds.
Juniata will return to action on Saturday when the Eagles play at Division I Colgate.

JUNIATA (60): Jasiota 4 1-2 9, Optiz 1 7-8 9, Boyd 2 0-2 5, Holloway 2 1-2 5, Hager 2 1-2 6, Byer 0 0-0 0, Ferko 2 0-0 4, Chamberlain 3 0-0 8, McConnell 3 2-2 10, Bull 0 0-0 0, Cannon 0 4-4 4. Totals 19 16-22 60

BRIDGEWATER (67): Durrette 4 4-5 12, Easterling 3 6-8 12, Moore 7 6-7 20, Tarkington 1 2-4 5, Michael 2 4-8 8, Maupin 1 0-0 2, Fitzgerald 2 1-1 5, Stewart 0 0-0 0, Cunningham 0 0-0 0, Butler 1 0-1 2. Totals ? 21 23-34

Halftime: Bridgewater 34-25. 3-point goals: Juniata 6 (McConnell 2, Chamberlain 2, Boyd, Hager); Bridgewater 2 (Tarkington, Maupin). Assists: Juniata 12 (McConnell 5); Bridgewater 7 (Durette 2). Rebounds: Juniata 24 (Boyd 6); Bridgewater 33 (Fitzgerald 7).

Records: Juniata (1-2); Bridgewater (3-0)

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