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Eagle MBB drops road opener at Franklin & Marshall

(Posted November 24, 2007)

LANCASTER, Pa. - Franklin & Marshall led wire-to-wire despite a second-half Eagle rally as the Diplomats downed Juniata, 66-57, in men's basketball action Saturday night at the Mayser Center in Lancaster, Pa. F&M (2-2, 0-0 Centennial) held a 19-point lead, 49-30, in 10:57 remaining in the game, when Juniata (2-1, 0-0 Landmark) began its comeback. The Eagles went on a 12-0 run over a three-and-a-half minute span, including a pair of jumpers by Brian Cannon (Fallston, Md./Fallston) and three free throws by Jon Tundel (Lewistown, Pa./Indian Valley), to cut the Diplomat lead to 49-42 with 7:33 left on the clock. Juniata further whittled away at the F&M lead, eventually cutting the Diplomats' advantage down to two possessions, 60-55 with 1:08 to play, after an Eric Mueseler (Latrobe, Pa./Latrobe) three-pointer. However that would be as close as the Eagles would get to catching the Diplomats, who went 8-of-13 at the free-throw line over the last minute-and-a-half to protect their lead. The Eagles had trailed F&M by only nine points, 30-21, at the break, but the Diplomats opened the second half with a 14-5 run, aided by a pair of trey by F&M's Clay Scovill and Chris Sullivan. That surge put the Diplomats ahead by 18, 44-26, by the 14:47 mark. Kyle Opitz (Gibsonia, Pa./Pine Richland) led the Eagles with 18 points, while Cannon chipped in with 13 points to go with nine rebounds and Brent Ferko (Sarver, Pa./Freeport) tallied 11 points. Franklin & Marshall also had three players score in double-figures, led by Scovill with 15 points with 10 boards and Derek Hines with 13 points. Juniata was outrebounded 39-32, including 10-5 on the offensive glass. The Diplomats went to the line 23 times on 21 Eagle fouls, where they converted 15 attempts for a .652 shooting percentage at the charity stripe, while Juniata was 11-of-14 at the free-throw line on 17 F&M fouls. The Eagles return to action on Monday night, Nov. 26, when they host Westminster College at 7:00 p.m. at the Kennedy Sports + Recreation Center in Huntingdon. -30-

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