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Hot Shooting Leads Eagle Men To Victory

(Posted January 3, 2007)

Kyle Opitz scored a career-high 15 points to help lead Juniata past Rutgers-Camden in non-conference action.

HUNTINGDON, Pa. - The Juniata College men\'s basketball team had five players score in double figures and rode blistering first-half shooting to a 94-51 non-conference win over Rutgers-Camden Wednesday night. The win snapped a four-game losing skid for the Eagles and raised their record to 5-6. Rutgers-Camden dropped to 4-7 with the loss. Kyle Opitz (Pine-Richland/Gibsonia) led all players with a career-high 15 points as Juniata shot 61 percent from the field for the game and a remarkable 78 percent from the field in the first half. Juniata was 18 of 23 from the field in the first stanza including 8 of 10 from three-point range. The Eagles stormed out of the gate, jumping to a 21-2 lead in the first five minutes. Opitz hit a pair of triples during the run, while Nick Hager (Franklin/Franklin) and Aaron Chamberlain (Tussey Mountain/Wood) also connected from long range. Juniata did not miss a shot, either from the field or the free throw line, until the 14:38 mark of the first half. After consecutive hoops from Rutgers-Camden\'s Rory Thornton and Josh Askew cut the lead to 14, Juniata ripped off a 17-2 run over the next five minutes to extend the lead to 29 points. Juniata would eventually take a 24-point cushion into the locker room. While the Eagles cooled off a bit in the second half the team still shot 48 percent and limited the visitors to 24 percent shooting as they continued to stretch the lead. Consecutive hoops from Garrett Bull (Red Lion/Red Lion) and Chris Jasiota (Oil City/Oil City) pushed the lead to 42 with 7:09 remaining. A pair of hoops from the Dane Nicholson helped cut the margin back to 35 before Juniata closed out the 43-point win. Nicholson was one of two Rutgers-Camden players in double figures as he posted a team-high 13 and paced the team with eight rebounds. Hager finished with 12 points with Chamberlain also reaching double figures with 11. Jasiota (Oil City/Oil City) scored 10 points with a team-high eight rebounds, while Bull established a new career high as he scored 10 points off the bench. Chamberlain matched his career best with a team-high eight assists. The Eagles had 26 assists as a team on 33 made baskets. Wayne Smalls was also in double digits for the visitors as he scored 12 points. Six players each had one assists for the Scarlet Raptors. Juniata will be in action again on Saturday with a road game against Penn State-DuBois. ###

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