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Late Rally Falls Short For Basketball Men

(Posted February 8, 2006)

Travis Boyd scored 20 points and grabbed a team-high eight rebounds for the Eagles against Elizabethtown.

Elizabethtown 77, Juniata 66

HUNTINGDON, Pa. ? An Elizabethtown College run mid-way through the second half proved to be the difference as the Juniata College men?s basketball team?s late rally fell short in a 77-66 set-back for the Eagles in Commonwealth Conference action in Huntingdon Wednesday night.

Juniata seniors Travis Boyd (Juniata Valley/Barree) and Tommy McConnell (Bishop Guilfoyle/Hollidaysburg) scored 20 and 17 points respectively but it wasn?t enough for the Eagles who fell to 10-12 overall and 5-6 in the conference with the loss. Elizabeth town raised its record to 14-7 overall and 6-5 in Commonwealth play. Brad Schreiber led four Blue Jays in double figures with 19 points in the game. The loss dropped Juniata out of a tie for fourth place in the conference standings, where the top four teams claim berths in the conference postseason. Juniata now sits in a tie for fifth place in the standings with Susquehanna, while Elizabethtown and Albright are tied in the third spot with conference records of 6-5.

After trailing by five at the half, Juniata was never able to pull in front over the final 20 minutes. The Blue Jays slowly inched out to an eight-point cushion before a Boyd three cut the lead to five with 13:56 remaining in the game. The Eagles? offense then went cold as Juniata scored four points over the next six minutes, leading to a 15-4 Elizabethtown run that put Juniata in a 16-point hole with 7:15 on the clock.

The lead expanded to as many as 18 before a pair of threes from Nick Hager (Franklin/Franklin) and one from McConnell trimmed the lead to 10 with 2:35 left. Elizabethtown stopped the surge with a lay-up from Greg Adams and then spent the rest of the game at the free throw line where the visitors sank 9-of-14 attempts in the final 1:28 to seal the win. Another pair of threes from McConnell and Hager brought the Eagles within six with 43 seconds left, but that was as close as Juniata got.

Juniata was slightly fortunate to trail by only five at halftime as turnovers plagued the Blue and Gold throughout the first period. Elizabethtown shot just 32 percent from the field in the first 20 minutes, while the Eagles shot 62 percent, but turned the ball over 17 times. Neither team led by more than seven in the half, with Juniata?s largest lead of four points coming with 12 minutes left in the period.

Boyd scored 20 points on 8-of-11 shooting from the field including 3-of-6 from long range. He also grabbed a team-high eight rebounds in the game. McConnell was 4-of-6 from the field while adding a team-high five assists. Hager chipped in nine points for the Eagles.

Along with his 19 points, Brad Schreiber also pulled in a team-high eight rebounds. Brian Schreiber scored 14 points for the visitors, while Greg Brizek and Chad Piersol added 12 and 11 respectively. The Blue Jays were an efficient 40 percent from long range in the game and also shot 75 percent from the foul like. Three Elizabethtown players passed out three assists.

The Eagles return to action on Saturday with a critical conference game against Lebanon Valley.


ELIZABETHTOWN (77): Brizek 2 6-10 12, Adams 2 2-2 7, Piersol 4 2-2 11, Brian Schreiber 5 3-4 13, Brad Schreiber 7 5-7 19, Ledyard 0 4-4 4, Goodwin 0 3-4 3, Schatzmann 2 2-2 7, Rodger 0 0-0 0, Shade 0 0-0 0, Schaffer 0 0-1 0. Totals ? 22 27-36 77.

JUNIATA (66): Jasiota 0 0-0 0, Boyd 8 1-2 20, McConnell 4 7-10 17, Cannon 2 0-1 4, Hager 3 0-0 9, Byer 1 0-0 2, Ferko 1 0-0 2, Opitz 1 1-2 4, Chamberlain 1 4-4 6, Price 0 0-0 0, Holloway 0 2-2 2. Totals ? 21 15-21 66.

Halftime: Elizabethtown 31-26. 3-point goals: Elizabethtown 6 (Brizek 2, Adams, Piersol, Brian Schreiber, Schatzmann); Juniata 9 (Boyd 3, Hager 3, McConnell 2, Opitz). Assists: Elizabethtown 14 (Adams, Brian Schreiber, Goodwin 3); Juniata 13 (McConnell 5). Rebounds: Elizabethtown 33 (Brad Schreiber 8); Juniata 29 (Boyd 8).

Records: Elizabethtown (14-7, 6-5 Commonwealth), Juniata (10-12, 5-6 Commonwealth).

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