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Basketball Men Down Waynesburg

(Posted December 11, 2004)

Tommy McConnell scored 19 points, including 15 in the second half to help Juniata to a six-point win over visiting Waynesburg.

Juniata 67, Waynesburg 61

Huntingdon, Pa. - After 20 minutes Saturday night, the Juniata men's basketball team had scored 19 points. Who knows what head coach Greg Curley said in the halftime locker room, but whatever it was, it worked. The Eagles scored nine points in the first two minutes of the second half to erase a 28-19 deficit. Juniata (2-6) made it a 15-0 run to take a six-point lead, and never trailed again, snapping a six-game losing streak with a 67-61 victory over the visiting Waynesburg Yellow Jackets (2-7).

Junior guard Tommy McConnell (Bishop Guilfoyle/Hollisdaysburg) broke out of a season-long shooting slump, hitting seven of 14 shots and finishing with 19 points. Sophomore center Chris Jasiota (Oil City/Oil City) had 14 points and eight rebounds, and junior forward Travis Boyd (Juniata Valley/Barree) pulled down a career-high 14 rebounds to go along with 13 points. Sophomore Nick Hager (Franklin/Franklin) hit three of eight shots from three-point range and finished with 10 points, 10 rebounds, and five assists.

Jeff Nero paced Waynesburg with 14 points, and Beau Wilson added 12. Josh Parisi joined them in double figures with 10.

Five straight points by McConnell started the Eagles' run that got them back in the game. After an exchange of possessions, Boyd put back his own miss. Freshman Brent Ferko (Freeport/Sarver) tied the score with a layup off of a pretty feed from Hager. A 20-second timeout failed to stop the bleeding, as Jasiota scored four straight points. McConnell then hit a pair of free throws to push the lead to 34-28.

A layup by Nero tied the score at 37 with 13 minutes to go, but a layup by Jasiota and a jumper by McConnell put the Eagles ahead to stay. Two triples by Hager and 8-of-12 free throwing shooting down the stretch helped put the game away for Juniata.

Juniata overcame a rough first half, in which they shot 26 percent from the field and committed 12 turnovers. After jumping out to a 15-11 lead, the Eagles missed ten straight shots and went over ten minutes without a field goal. By the time Boyd broke the drought with a three-pointer with less than a minute to play in the half, Waynesburg had a 26-19 lead. A jumper by Parisi put the halftime score at 28-19.

Waynesboro also struggled in the first half, shooting just 32.4 percent from the floor. However, unlike the Eagles - who improved to 50 percent field goal shooting in the second half - the Yellow Jackets failed to do better in the second half. That was the difference in the game.

The Eagles next play Monday night, at York College.

JUNIATA (67): Jasiota 5 4-6 14, Chamberlain 1 0-0 3, Boyd 5 1-2 13, McConnell 7 4-5 19, Holloway 0 0-0 0, Byer 0 0-0 0, Ferko 2 0-0 4, Holencik 0 0-0 0, Cannon 0 4-4 4, Hager 3 1-4 10. Totals - 23 14-21 67 WAYNESBURG (61): Nero 6 1-1 14, Gillespie 0 0-0 0, Wilson 2 8-8 12, Lodovico 2 0-0 5, Coleman 0 0-0 0, Tomsko 0 1-2 1, Wasik 2 4-5 8, Gamble 2 0-0 5, Bujnowski 3 0-1 6, Parisi 4 2-3 10. Totals - 21 16-20 61

Halftime: Waynesburg 28-19. 3-point goals: Juniata 7 (Hager 3, Boyd 2, Chamberlain, McConnell); Waynesburg 3 (Nero, Lodovico, Gamble). Assists: Juniata 11 (Hager 5); Waynesburg 6 (Wilson 2). Rebounds: Juniata 48 (Boyd 14); Waynesburg 37 (Nero, Wasik, Parisi 5). Records: Juniata (2-6); Waynesburg (2-7).

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