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Ladies Hoops Claim First Conference Win

(Posted January 10, 2006)

Katie O'Brien notched her second double-double of the season as she scored 19 points while grabbing 11 rebounds to help Juniata earn a conference win over Elizabethtown.

Juniata 66, Elizabethtown 53

ELIZABETHTOWN, Pa. - A blistering offensive performance in the first half helped propel the Juniata College women's basketball team to its first Commonwealth Conference victory of the season as the Eagles downed Elizabethtown College 66-53 in Thompson Gymnasium Tuesday night.

The Eagles, who never trailed in the game, raised their record to 8-6 on the year and are now 1-2 in Commonwealth Conference play. Elizabethtown dropped to 5-6 overall with the loss and is also 1-2 in Commonwealth action.

Katie O'Brien (South Western/Hanover) scored 15 of her game-high 19 points in the first half to help the Eagles build a big first-half lead. O'Brien also grabbed a team high 11 rebounds for Juniata, to earn her second double-double of the season, which have both come since the start of 2006. She also added three steals and three blocks.

Juniata led by just four points at the 11:48 mark when an Erin Walton lay-in made the score 18-14 in favor of the Eagles. Juniata then mounted a 7-0 run sparked by a Kristen Kirk (Newport/Newport) three that put Juniata on top by 11.

The Blue Jays got back inside double digits when a three-point play from Cristin Braun made the score 29-20 Juniata with 5:24 remaining in the half. The Eagles then caught fire, with three baskets from O'Brien helping the visitors close the half on a 17-2 run and take a 46-22 lead into halftime. Juniata shot 60-percent from the field in the first half, while limiting the Blue Jays to just 28-percent. The Eagles also outrebounded the opposition by 13 in the first 20 minutes.

Juniata managed to maintain a sizeable lead throughout the second half. A Courtney Callas (Freeport/Sarver) lay-up extended the lead to 27 at the 12:41 mark, and the Eagles remained comfortably in front, even as the Blue Jays closed the game with a 5-0 run over the final two minutes. The Blue Jays did force Juniata into 27 turnovers but managed to shoot just 31-percent from the field in the contest.

Kirk was also in double figures for the Eagles with 15 points on 7-of-9 shooting from the field as the Eagles finished the game shooting 49 percent as a team. Jess Winemiller (Dallastown/York) posted 14 points along with a team high five assists. Juniata registered a remarkable 21 assists on 26 made field goals in the game.

Braun scored a team-high 13 points for the Blue Jays, while Walton chipped in eight points. Megan Quinn led the team with five rebounds, while three players finished with two assists for the home squad.

JUNIATA (66): Meckey 1 0-0 3, Walsh 0 0-0 0, Kirk 7 0-0 15, Winemiller 5 4-5 14, O'Brien 6 7-8 19, Callas 2 0-0 4, Rhoads 0 0-0 0, Piccolini 1 0-0 3, Werner 1 0-0 2, Ashcraft 1 0-0 2, Snoby 2 0-0 4. Totals - 26 11-13 66.

ELIZABETHTOWN (53): Walton 2 4-6 8, Fitzpatrick 0 1-3 1, Hitz 2 3-3 7, Voit 2 1-2 6, Braun 4 5-9 13, Davis 1 1-3 4, Pecht 0 0-0 0, Quinn 3 0-0 6, Montague 2 0-0 4, Meyer 0 0-0 0, Reid 2 0-0 4. Totals - 18 15-26 53.

Halftime: Juniata 46-22. 3-point goals: Juniata 3 (Meckey, Kirk, Piccolini); Elizabethtown 2 (Voit, Davis). Assists: Juniata 21 (Winemiller 5); Elizabethtown 9 (Voit, Braun, Davis 2). Rebounds: Juniata 42 (O'Brien 11); Elizabethtown 31 (Quinn 5).

Records: Juniata (8-6, 1-2), Elizabethtown (5-6, 1-2).

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