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Eagle Men Outlast F and M In Hoops Action

(Posted November 25, 2006)

Brian Cannon had a game-high 22 points for Juniata as the Eagles topped Franklin & Marshall.

HUNTINGDON, Pa. - Brian Cannon (Fallston/Fallston, Md.) scored a game-high 22 points and Kyle Opitz (Pine-Richland/Gibsonia) hit several clutch free throws down the stretch to help Juniata claim a 78-67 over Franklin & Marshall University Saturday evening in Huntingdon. The win over the traditional regional power moved Juniata to 3-0 on the year, while the Diplomats dropped to 1-3. Juniata led most of the way, but the visitors tied the game up for the fourth time at the 7:39 mark on a basket by Derek Hines. After empty trips for both teams, Juniata\'s Aaron Chamberlain (Tussey Mountain/Wood) converted a lay-up to give Juniata a 59-57 lead with 6:48 remaining. The Eagles would not trail again. Juniata extended the lead to five, and Franklin & Marshall got back within three on two occasions but the Eagles were a perfect 12-12 from the foul line in the final five minutes. Two late hoops from Brent Ferko (Freeport/Sarver), including a breakaway dunk with 14 seconds left sealed the win for Juniata. Juniata was 29-33 from the line for the game, with Opitz hitting all 11 of his attempts, and Ferko drilling 7-7 from the line. Cannon\'s offense sparked Juniata in the first half as he came off the bench to score 18 of his 22 points in the first 20 minutes. The sophomore entered the game after five minutes of action, and promptly converted a three-point play, followed by two more baskets and then a three pointer to help Juniata pull out to an eight-point lead. Another triple from Cannon extended the lead to 11, but Franklin & Marshall quickly cut the lead to four on a basket from Andrew McCaffrey and would eventually going into the half trailing by five. Cannon was 7-9 from the field in the game as Juniata shot 57 percent as a team. Ferko added 17 points for the Eagles, while Opitz finished with 15. Cannon was also tops on the squad with five rebounds, while Chamberlain had a team-high four assists to go with three steals. Hines was the top scorer for the Diplomats on the night as he scored 15 points and grabbed a team-high six rebounds. Evan Hamme was also in double figures with 14, while Adam Leonard chipped in 13. Leonard and McCaffrey each finished with four assists for the Diplomats. Juniata will look to remain unbeaten when the Eagles open conference play Wednesday night at Messiah College. ###

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