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Career High From OBrien Leads Juniata To Win

(Posted February 11, 2006)

Katie O'Brien scored a career-high 26 points and matched her career high in rebounds as the Eagles topped Lebanon Valley.

Juniata, 66, Elizabethtown 47

ANNVILLE, Pa. - Katie O'Brien (South Western/Hanover) scored a career-high 26 points and matched her career-best with 12 rebounds to help the Juniata College women's basketball team continue its late-season push for the postseason with a 72-58 win over Lebanon Valley College in Annville Saturday afternoon.

O'Brien topped her previous career-best of 24 points in posting her third double-double of the season to help Juniata improve to 12-11 overall and 5-7 in the Commonwealth Conference. The win was the third-consecutive conference victory for Juniata. Monica Johnson led the Flying Dutchmen with 22 points with Megan Bish adding 21 as they dropped to 6-17 on the season and 1-11 in conference play.

After 17 minutes of the first half the two teams were tied at 24 following a three pointer from Bish. The Eagles then held Lebanon Valley scoreless over the final 2:55 of the first half and scored nine points during that stretch to take a nine-point lead into the locker room.

The Eagles kept the momentum going in the second half as Juniata scored the first nine points of the second half and then added more as a 16-2 run in the first five minutes of the half extended the Eagles' lead to 23 with 15:27 left in the game. Ali Meckey (Bishop Carroll/Ebensburg) and Jill Walsh (Ferndale/Johnstown) each hit threes during the run.

The lead stayed above 20 for most of the half, though Lebanon Valley did put together a 13-2 run over a four-minute stretch late in the game that cut the lead to 10 with 4:24 remaining. A Kelly Ashcraft (State College/Bellefonte) hoop stopped the run, and O'Brien scored six points in the final two minutes to help Juniata seal the victory.

The Eagles absolutely overwhelmed the home team on the glass as Juniata outrebounded the home team 52-25 in the game.

The 26-point effort marked the fourth time this season that O'Brien has scored 20 or more points in a game. Jess Winemiller (Dallastown/York) added 13 points and four assists for the Eagles, while Meckey paced Juniata with five assists.

Johnson also recorded a double-double for Lebanon Valley as she added 15 rebounds to go with her 22 points. Bish and Johnson combined to score 43 of Lebanon Valley's 58 points in the game. Allie Butler led the home team with four assists.

The Eagles will look to keep their conference winning streak going on Tuesday night when they travel to play at Susquehanna.

JUNIATA (72): Winemiller 6 1-4 13, O'Brien 12 2-2 26, Meckey 1 2-2 5, Walsh 1 2-2 5, Kirk 2 0-0 5, Callas 2 0-0 4, Rhoads 1 0-0 2, Piccolini 0 0-0 0, Werner 1 0-0 2, Hauser 0 0-0 0, Ashcraft 1 2-2 4, Snoby 3 0-0 6. Totals - 30 9-12 72.

LEBANON VALLEY (58): Bish 6 7-8 21, Johnson 9 4-8 22, Geiger 2 2-6 8, Butler 1 0-0 3, Gambino 2 0-1 4, Kueny 0 0-0 0, Sanders 0 0-0 0. Totals - 20 13-23 58.

Halftime: Juniata 33-24. 3-point goals: Juniata 3 (Meckey, Walsh, Kirk); Lebanon Valley 5 (Bish 2, Geiger 2, Butler). Assists: Juniata 19 (Meckey 5); Lebanon Valley 14 (Butler 4). Rebounds: Juniata 52 (O'Brien 12); Lebanon Valley 25 (Johnson 15).

Records: Juniata (12-11, 5-7 Commonwealth), Lebanon Valley (6-17, 1-11 Commonwealth).

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