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Late Run Comes Up Short For Juniata Men

(Posted December 2, 2006)

Brian Cannon had 17 points and eight rebounds for Juniata in a Commonwealth matchup against Widener.

HUNTINGDON, Pa. - An early second-half run from the visitors was too much for the Juniata College men\'s basketball team to overcome as despite a late charge in the second half the Eagles suffered a 69-59 set-back to Widener University in Commonwealth Conference action in Huntingdon Saturday night. The loss dropped Juniata to 3-2 on the year and 0-2 in the conference, while Widener evened its record at 3-3 and is now 2-0 in conference play. Trailing by 21 points after a three from Widener\'s Essien Ford with just 5:21 remaining, Juniata mounted a 13-0 run over the next three minutes to pull within eight. Nick Hager (Franklin/Franklin) buried a pair of threes to start the spurt and the defense of David Thompson (Altoona/Altoona) off the bench helped force five Widener turnovers during the stretch. But the Pride halted the run with a hoop from Wyatt Haas and despite a three from Aaron Chamberlain (Tussey Mountain/Wood) that pulled Juniata back within eight, Widener sank its free throws to secure the win. Brian Cannon (Fallston/Fallston, Md.) scored a team-high 17 points for the Eagles, who never led in the contest. Widener took control of the game in the early part of the second half. After leading by 11 at halftime the visitors outscored Juniata 13-6 in the first five minutes of the half to extend the lead to 18. Ford hit a pair of threes during the stretch, the first of which moved him past the 1,000-point mark for his career. Juniata would scrap to get back within 14 after hoops from Chamberlain and Cannon but the Eagles could not find the range from the field as the Eagles shot 39 percent from the field in the second half as Widener built a 20-point cushion. The lead stayed in double figures until Juniata\'s late charge. The Eagles also struggled from the field in the first half as they shot 32 percent from the field. The Pride scored the first basket of the game, and after Juniata tied it on a three from Eric Mueseler (Latrobe/Latrobe) Widener took the lead for good and slowly pushed its lead to nine with 8:57 in the half. A three from Cannon brought Juniata back within five, with 6:14 remaining in the half, but consecutive threes from Ford and Nyere Miller gave Widener an 11 point lead, which it would take into halftime. Cannon reached double figures for fourth-consecutive game as he was 7-15 from the field and also grabbed eight rebounds. Hager added eight points for the Eagles as he was 2-5 from three-point range. Chamberlain matched Cannon with eight rebounds, including five offensive boards, while Brent Ferko (Freeport/Sarver) led Juniata with three assists. Ford finished with 25 points on the game to lead the Widener attack. Miller and Haas both added 12 points for the visitors. Haas grabbed eight rebounds for the Pride and Miller led the team with four assists. Juniata gets back into action Monday night when the Eagles host Grove City for a non-conference game. ###

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