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Eagle Ladies Run Past Widener

(Posted December 2, 2006)

Kelly Ashcraft scored 14 points and added seven rebounds and three steals to help Juniata earn a conference win over Widener.

HUNTINGDON, Pa. - The Juniata College womenâ??s basketball team earned their first conference win of the season Saturday night as they beat conference foe Widener University 66-44 in Memorial Gym. The Eagles bounced back after suffering their first loss of the season earlier in the week to improve to 5-1 overall and 1-1 in the conference. With the loss the Pride fell to 3-3 overall and 0-2 in the Commonwealth. Courtney Callas (Freeport/Sarver) both scored 14 points and Juniata broke open the game with a run early in the second half. After entering the half leading by nine, Widener pulled within seven on a Beth Dessart Mager hoop two minutes into the half. Juniata then responded by putting together a 13-0 run over the next six minutes to expand the lead to 20. Claudia McDowell (Juniata Valley/Alexandria) scored five points during the run, and Ashcraft added four points inkling the last hoop which put Juniata in front 45-25. Widener fought back to within 15 with 9:27 left in the game, but two quick baskets from Callas forced the lead back up to 19. Widener was unable to get any closer, mainly as a result of turnovers, which plagued both teams throughout the game. The Pride turned the ball over 30 times in the game, including 18 in the second half, while Juniata committed 29 turnovers of its own. It was a struggle early on as both offenses were having trouble finding their rhythm and converting on easy scoring chances. Then about half way through the first half Callas connected with a jumper to give the Eagles a 10-6 lead and gain momentum. With just under four minutes to go until half Ali Meckey (Bishop Carroll/Ebensburg) and Steph Hatch (Bellwood-Antis/Bellwood) nailed back-to-back three point shots to take a 30-21 lead into the locker room. Juniata\'s defense was key as both Callas and Ashcraft had three steals to go with their 14 points. Juniata finished with 13 steals in the game. McDowell was also in double figures for Juniata with 13 points and Jess Winemiller (Dallastown/York) added 10. McDowell and Ashcraft each had seven assists to lead the team, and McDowell and Winemiller each passed out four assists. Deaart Mager paced Widener in the game with nine point, while Stephanie Bixby and Becky Tyler both had eight. Bixby was tops on the team with five rebounds, while four different Pride players had two assists in the contest. Juniata will return to action on Tuesday with a non-conference road game at Grove City. ###

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