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Eagles Unable To Solve Widener On Road

(Posted January 14, 2006)

Chris Jasiota scored a team-high 14 points for Juniata against conference foe Widener.

Widener 72, Juniata 55

CHESTER, Pa. ? Winning on the road in the Commonwealth Conference is never easy, a fact that was reinforced for the Juniata College men?s basketball team on Saturday as the Eagles played a solid game but didn?t do quite enough as Juniata fell to Widener University 72-55 in conference action in Chester Saturday afternoon.

Juniata hung with the conference leader through much of the game, but suffered through a scoring drought late in the second half as they fell to 7-8 overall and 2-2 in the conference. Widener raised its season record to 13-1 overall and 3-1 in Commonwealth play.

The Eagles were right with the Pioneers throughout the first half as neither team held more than a seven-point cushion in the first 20 minutes. A Chris Jasiota (Oil City/Oil City) hoop gave Juniata a one-point edge with 8:31 remaining, only to see Widener run off eight-straight points to take a 25-18 lead. Juniata whittled away, getting back within one on another Jasiota score with just over three minutes left. Widener then closed the half on an 8-2 run to take a six-point lead into the locker room.

Juniata continued to hang around in the early stages of the second half, but were unable to get back in front. Juniata would pull within four on several occasions, and then a Jasiota hoop made the score 43-38 Widener with 14:45 left in the game. Widener then began to add to its lead as a 6-0 run brought the advantage into double digits. A hoop from Brent Ferko (Freeport/Sarver) cut the lead back to eight at the 12:10 mark, and then Juniata was still in shouting distance at 57-46 with 8:50 remaining. But from there Widener pulled away on the strength of a 15-1 run that made the score 72-47 with just over three minutes left.

Juniata shot 43 percent from the field in the game, but were just 6-of-14 from the foul line, while Widener attempted 25 free throws and made 18. The Eagles also suffered through a 37-percent shooting spell in the second half.

Jasiota led the Eagles with 14 points in the game, while Brian Cannon (Fallston/Fallston, Md.) added 11. Travis Boyd (Juniata Valley/Barree) paced the team with six rebounds, while Jasiota, Cannon and Boyd all had three assists.

Widener?s Kris Clarkson led all players with 26 points while also pulling in nine rebounds. Malcolm Thomas posted 20 points in the game as well for the Pioneers. Brandon Blakey passed out six assists to lead all players.

The Eagles will be back in action on Tuesday when they host Messiah College for a conference game.

JUNIATA (55): Boyd 3 0-0 7, Cannon 5 0-0 11, Jasiota 5 4-6 14, McConnell 0 0-0 0, Hager 3 0-2 7, Byer 1 0-0 2, Ferko 2 0-0 4, Opitz 1 1-2 4, Mirizio 0 0-0 0, Esperance 0 0-0 0, Bull 0 0-0 0, Chamberlain 1 0-0 3, Holencik 0 1-4 1, Holloway 1 0-0 2, Baker 0 0-0 0. Totals ? 22 6-14 55.

WIDENER (72): Thomas 6 5-5 20, Michael 3 2-4 8, Clarkson 9 8-11 26, Blakey 1 0-0 3, Ford 3 1-2 7, Douglas 0 0-0 0, Haas 0 0-0 0, Miller 0 0-0 0, Clark 0 0-0 0, Smith 3 2-3 8, Sosna 0 0-0 0. Totals ? 25 18-25 72.

Halftime: Widener 36-30. 3-point goals: Juniata 5 (Boyd, Cannon, Hager, Opitz, Chamberlain); Widener 4 (Thomas 3, Blakey). Assists: Juniata 13 (Boyd, Cannon, Jasiota 3); Widener 15 (Blakey 6). Rebounds: Juniata 31 (Boyd 6); Widener 35 (Clarkson 9).

Records: Juniata (7-8, 2-2), Widener (13-1, 3-1).

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