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Eagles Hoops Suffers Tough Conference Loss

(Posted January 28, 2006)

Tommy McConnell scored a game-high 20 points for the Eagles in a conference game at Moravian.

Moravian 81, Juniata 72

BETHLEHEM, Pa. ? The Juniata College men?s basketball team had three players in double figures but that wasn?t enough for the Eagles to secure a victory on Saturday as they dropped an 81-72 contest to Moravian College at Johnston Hall.

Tommy McConnell (Bishop Guilfoyle/Hollidaysburg) reached 20 points for the second time in the last three games, but Juniata couldn?t overcome a decisive Moravian advantage at the free throw line as the Eagles fell to 9-10 overall and 4-4 in conference play. The Greyhounds raised their record to 6-14 on the year and 1-7 in the Commonwealth.

After Juniata led by three at intermission, the second half was nip-and-tuck the whole way with Moravian rallying to grab its first lead of the final 20 minutes with 10:42 left. Juniata pulled back in front slightly, but a pair of three-point plays by the Greyhounds Mark Fransyshen gave the visitors a 66-64 cushion with 4:58 remaining. The lead grew to five on a Chris Earley jumper, but the Eagles countered with a Travis Boyd (Juniata Valley/Barree) three pointer and a lay-up from McConnell to knot the score at 70 with 3:27 remaining. Zach Zsilavecz put the visitors on top for good with a three at the 1:57 mark and though Juniata climbed within five on a Brian Cannon (Fallston/Fallston, Md.) lay-up with 52 seconds left, the Greyhounds sealed the game with eight made free throws in the final two minutes to deal the Eagles the loss.

Fouls plagued Juniata throughout the game as the Eagles committed their 10th team foul of the second half with nine minutes still remaining in the game. Moravian 31-16 at the foul line in the game, and attempted 46 free throws compared to 21 for the Eagles.

After trailing early in the first half, Juniata rode the hot shooting of Boyd to take back the lead. The senior forward was 5-of-6 from long range in the game, with three of those triples coming in the first 20 minutes. A Boyd triple at the 14:15 mark gave Juniata a 13-12 lead, and another three gave the Eagles an eight-point margin later in the half, which would be cut to three on a last-second shot from Ed Reid as the team?s went into halftime.

Along with McConnell?s 20, Boyd posted his fourth double-double of the season as he scored 17 points and grabbed a season-high 13 rebounds. Cannon was also in double figures with 16 points, while Nick Hager (Franklin/Franklin) and Aaron Chamberlain (Tussey Mountain/Wood) both produced three assists.

Zsilavecz led all players with 19 points, while Reid and Earley contributed 13 and 10 respectively. Reid and Earley along with Franzyshen all grabbed seven rebounds, and Justin Chestnut finished with six assists.

Juniata returns to the court on Tuesday with a conference game at Messiah.

JUNIATA (72): Jasiota 0 0-0 0, Boyd 6 0-0 17, McConnell 7 4-5 20, Cannon 6 4-5 16, Hager 1 3-4 6, Byer 0 0-0 0, Ferko 3 0-0 6, Opitz 0 2-5 3, Chamberlain 0 2-2 2, Price 0 0-0 0, Holencik 1 0-0 2. Totals ? 24 16-21 72

MORAVIAN (81): Miller 2 3-4 7, Chestnut 1 6-7 8, Reid 5 2-4 13, Zsilavecz 5 6-9 19, Devlin 2 4-8 8, Earley 4 2-2 10, Clemente 1 2-4 4, Depasquale 0 0-0 0, Whitman 0 0-0 0, Jones 0 0-0 0, Tripucka 0 0-0 0, Franzyshen 3 6-8 12. Totals ? 23 31-46 81.

Halftime: Juniata 41-38. 3-point goals: Juniata 8 (Boyd 5, McConnell 2, Hager); Moravian 4 (Zsilavecz 3, Reid). Assists: Juniata 14 (Hager, Chamberlain 3); Moravian 15 (Chestnut 6). Rebounds: Juniata 39 (Boyd 13); Moravian 48 (Reid, Earley, Franzyshen 7).

Records: Juniata (9-10, 4-4 Commonwealth), Moravian (6-13, 1-7 Commonwealth).

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