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Hoops Win Third-Straight Conference Game

(Posted February 3, 2007)

Brian Cannon led Juniata in points and rebounds as the Eagles earned a Commonwealth victory over Widener.

CHESTER, Pa. - The Juniata College men\'s basketball team outscored host Widener University by 17 points in the second half to overcome a slow offensive start as the Eagles earned the 71-62 win in Commonwealth Conference action Saturday afternoon in Chester. After starting the season 0-3 in conference play, Juniata (12-9, 6-4 Commonwealth) has won six of its last seven conference games and now stands at worst in a tie for second in the conference standings. Brian Cannon (Fallston/Fallston, Md.) scored 13 of his game-high 19 points in the second half as Juniata overcame an eight-point halftime deficit. While the Eagles scored 47 points in the second period, it was the team\'s defense that carried the day in the early part of the second half. Widener was limited to just seven points in the first 11 minutes of the second stanza as Juniata turned an eight-point deficit into an eight-point lead with 9:04 remaining in the game. A three-point play from Cannon pushed Juniata\'s lead to 11 with 6:46 remaining, Widener would eventually get back within six points with 3:28 remaining in the game after two free throws from Terry Smith and a jumper from Malcolm Thomas. But Juniata iced the game at the foul line as the Eagles went 12-for-14 from the stripe in the final three minutes of the game. James Jones scored 16 points to lead Widener (11-9, 6-4) which suffered its third-consecutive conference defeat after starting the season 6-1 in conference play. In the first half it looked like the Pride would put an end to that streak as the home team never trailed in the first 20 minutes. Juniata stayed within striking distance throughout the half, but Widener closed the half on a 7-4 run to take the lead into halftime. While Juniata\'s defense held Widener in check in the second half, the Eagles blistered the nets 58 percent shooting. Nick Hager (Franklin/Franklin) knocked down a pair of threes, and Neil Holloway (Tussey Mountain/Saxton) added five points during the run that put Juniata in front to start the second half. Cannon was shot 50 percent from the field and also grabbed a team-high eight boards for Juniata, which shot 48 percent from the field for the game. Hager and Kyle Opitz (Pine-Richland/Gibsonia) each added 13 points for Juniata, while Holloway finished with nine. Aaron Chamberlain paced the team with four assists. Jones was one of three Widener players in double figures as he missed just two shots from the field. Smith finished with 13 points and a team-high six rebounds, while Thomas scored 12. Juniata returns to conference action on Wednesday when the Eagles play at Commonwealth foe Elizabethtown. ###

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