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Men Top Messiah In Conference Play

(Posted January 30, 2007)

Brian Cannon scored 24 points, grabbed five rebounds and passed out a team-high five assists to help Juniata defeat conference opponent Messiah.

HUNTINGDON, Pa. - Junior forward Brian Cannon (Fallston/Fallston, Md.) recorded his fourth 20-point game of the season as his game-high 24 points helped the Juniata College men\'s basketball team earn a 76-67 win over conference leader Messiah in Commonwealth action Tuesday evening. Cannon produced seven points and three assists during a critical seven-minute stretch midway through the second half when Juniata (11-9, 5-4 Commonwealth) turned an 11-point advantage into a 21-point cushion with 9:51 remaining in the game. The lead proved valuable as Messiah turned up the defensive pressure which sparked a 12-2 run that cut Juniata\'s deficit to 11 with 6:06 remaining. Jason Miller hit a three to start the run and hoops from Jared Yoder and Daryl Brown helped pull the visitors within striking distance. A Brent Ferko (Freeport/Sarver) jumper with 7:01 left would be Juniata\'s last basket from the field, but the Eagles converted at the foul line in the final six minutes to keep the Falcons from getting any closer than nine points down the stretch. Matt Henninger paced Messiah (14-5, 8-1) with 15 points including three triples as the Falcons suffered their first conference set-back of the year. The Falcons entered the game shooting 40 percent from beyond the three-point arc on the season, but Juniata\'s defense limited the visitors to just 26 percent (8-31) shooting from long range. Juniata trailed for less than a minute in the contest as the Eagles quickly raced in front by eight after a basket from Chris Jasiota (Oil City/Oil City). Six straight points from Yoder erased the deficit and gave Messiah a 19-18 lead with 5:04 remaining in the first half. Juniata then scored on five straight possessions, and threes from Cannon, Kyle Opitz (Pine-Richland/Gibsonia) and Aaron Chamberlain (Tussey Mountain/Wood) helped Juniata close the half on a 17-3 run that gave the Eagles a 13-point lead at halftime. Cannon finished 9-for-14 from the field while also pulling in five rebounds and passing out a team-high five assists. Chamberlain added a season-high 19 points for the Eagles and also led the team with eight rebounds. Jasiota was also in double figures with 14 points. Yoder recorded a double-double for the second time in the two meetings between Juniata and Messiah this season as he scored 13 points and pulled in 11 rebounds while also leading the team with six assists. Andy Hawk added 12 points with a pair of three pointers for the visitors. Juniata will return to action on Saturday when the Eagles hit the road to face Commonwealth opponent Widener University. ###

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