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Second Half Surge Foils Basketball Men

(Posted February 8, 2005)

Nick Hager had a solid game for Juniata as he scored a team-high 16 points and also grabbed five rebounds in the Eagles\' game against Elizabethtown.

Elizabethtown 81, Juniata 66

Grantham, Pa. ? For the second time this season the Juniata College men?s basketball team was right with defending Commonwealth Conference champion Elizabethtown College through 20 minutes. But also for the second time, Juniata could not overcome an early Blue Jays run as the Eagles fell to Elizabethtown 81-66 in Commonwealth action in Huntingdon. Juniata is now 8-14 overall and 3-8 in the conference, while Elizabethtown improved to 12-9 on the season and 6-4 in conference action.

The game turned in a four minute stretch to open the second half. Juniata trailed by three at halftime, but saw Elizabethtown open the half with a pair of three pointers and a lay-in to stretch the lead to nine. After an Eagle timeout the visitors converted five free throws and a lay-up over the next minute, then got back-to-back threes from Jon Connor and Kyle Conrad to cap the 21-2 run.

Juniata quickly answered getting a three from Nick Hager (Franklin/Franklin) and a pair of baskets from Chris Jasiota (Oil City/Oil City) and Brian Cannon (Fallston/Fallston, Md.) to pull within 15. Two more free throws and a lay-up pushed Elizabethtown?s lead back 19, then the second technical foul of the half on Juniata led to two more free throws and a 21-point lead. Conrad hit another three on the next possession to push the lead up to 24 points.

The Eagles continued to battle back, getting another free from Hager to pull within 18, and then two free throws from Jasiota to cut the deficit to 16 with 5:22 left, but the Eagles got no closer than 15 the rest of the way.

The first half suggested that the game would be close throughout. Elizabethtown pulled out to the biggest lead of the half after a basket from Justin Shade made the score 20-11 in favor of the Blue Jays. Juniata quickly answered with two threes from Hager and one from Aaron Chamberlain (Tussey Mountain/Wood) to eventually tie the score at 24 with 5:56 remaining in the half. Elizabethtown pulled back in front by five and then had a basket from Junaita send the teams into the halftime with the visitors leading by three.

Hager finished the game with a team-high 16 points for the Eagles on 5-of-8 shooting from the field and 4-of-6- from long range. Hager also pulled in a team-high five rebounds. Cannon also finished in double figures with 11, while Chamberlain added 10. Tommy McConnell (Bishop Guilfoyle/Hollidaysburg) led the team with four assists.

Conrad led all players with 21 points while Connor added 13 points for the Blue Jays. Brian Goodwin and Greg Adams each had a team-high four assists, while three Blue Jays each finished with four rebounds.

Juniata will play its final home game of the season on Saturday when the Eagles host Albright.

ELIZABETHTOWN (81): Conrad 5 8-8 21, Adams 0 2-2 2, Connor 5 0-0 13, Flynn 2 1-1 5, Keane 1 4-5 6, Ledyard 3 3-3 9, Goodwin 0 0-0 0, Smith 1 2-4 4, Brizek 2 1-2 5, Piersol 0 1-2 1, D?Emilio 0 0-0 0, Shade 1 0-2 2, Schreiber 4 0-0 9, Norris 1 0-2 2, Tannous 0 2-2 2, Schreiber 0 0-0 0. Totals ? 25 24-34 81

JUNIATA (66): Jasiota 3 3-3 9, Chamberlain 3 2-2 10, McConnell 1 2-2 4, Cannon 4 3-4 11, Hager 6 0-1 16, Byer 1 0-1 2, Ferko 0 0-0 0, Opitz 0 0-0 0, LaPrad 0 0-0 0, Price 2 0-0 5, Boyd 2 0-0 5, Littleton 0 0-0 0, Holencik 0 0-0 0, Holloway 0 2-2 2, Bull 1 0-0 2. Totals ? 23 12-15 66

Halftime: Elizabethtwon 29-26. 3-point goals: Juniata 8 (Hager 4, Chamberlain 2, Price, Boyd); Elizabethtown 7 (Conrad 3, Connor 3, Schreiber). Assists: Juniata 14 (McConnell 4); Elizabethtown 15 (Adams, Goodwin 4). Rebounds: 29 (Hager 5); Elizabethtown 37 (Connor, Keane, Schreiber 4).


Records: Juniata (8-14); Elizabethtown (12-9).

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