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Eagle Men Drop Tight Conference Game

(Posted January 24, 2007)

ANNVILLE, Pa. - A furious comeback by the Juniata College men\'s basketball team came up just short as the Eagles suffered a 58-54 loss to Lebanon Valley College in Commonwealth Conference action Wednesday night. Brian Cannon (Fallston/Fallston, Md.) scored a game-high 17 points as Juniata (9-9, 3-4 Commonwealth) nearly overcame a 20-point second-half deficit. The home team led by 11 at halftime and quickly jumped out of the gates in the second half as three triples from Kyle Enoch put Juniata in a 20-point hole with 14:13 remaining in the game. But from there, Juniata\'s defense clamped down as the Eagles held the home squad to seven points over the next 10 minutes. Two threes from Nick Hager (Franklin/Franklin) and a pair of buckets from Cannon and Chris Jasiota (Oil City/Oil City) fueled Juniata\'s offense as the Blue and Gold pulled within five points at 55-50 with 4:21 left. From there, both teams went cold as Lebanon Valley was unable to put the game away at the foul line, and the Eagles could not get their shots from the perimeter to fall. Neither team scored until a Brent Ferko (Freeport/Sarver) free throw with 20 seconds left pulled Juniata to within four. Jimmy Curran made one free attempt for Lebanon Valley to extend the lead to five with 14 seconds left. Kyle Opitz (Pine-Richland/Gibsonia) nailed a three to cut the deficit to two with seven seconds remaining, but Dustin Kerns iced the game with a pair of free throws for the home team. Curran and Enoch each had 15 points for Lebanon Valley (11-7, 3-4 Commonwealth) which shot 47 percent from three-point range in the game, but went just 7-for-17 from the foul line to help fuel Juniata\'s comeback. Juniata was just 3-of-14 from the line itself in the game. After the Eagles held the lead early in the contest, a pair of threes from Enoch and one from Dan Hodge helped the Flying Dutchmen build a six-point lead at 12:35 in the first half. A 7-2 run from the home team to close the half sent Juniata into the halftime break trailing by 11. Cannon was one rebound shy of his fourth-consecutive double-double as he had 17 points on 8-14 shooting while adding nine rebounds. Hager was also in double figures with 12 as he went 4-of-5 from beyond the arc. Hager and Jasiota each finished with three assists to lead the Eagles. Enoch finished 5-of-7 from deep as Lebanon Valley knocked down nine triples in the game. He also grabbed eight rebounds to lead Lebanon Valley. Hodge was also in double figures with 10 points, while Curran led all players with eight assists. Juniata returns to action on Saturday as the Eagles host Moravian College in a Commonwealth game. ###

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