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Second half surge carries Juniata WBB past Merchant Marine

(Posted January 18, 2008)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- Juniata College used an 11-2 run in the second half an rolled to a 67-55 victory, in Landmark Conference women's basketball action Friday night at the Kennedy Sports + Recreation Center in Huntingdon, Pa. With the game deadlocked at 40-40 with 11:14 on the clock, Juniata's Claudia McDowell (Alexandria Pa./Juniata Valley) kick-started the run with a jumper that gave the Eagles (9-6, 2-2 Landmark) the lead for good. Kelly Ashcraft (Bellefonte, Pa./State College) and Jill Walsh (Johnstown, Pa./Ferndale) fueled the run with a pair of three-pointers, followed by a Jen Hnatuck (Mechanicsburg, Pa./Trinity) layup. Juniata aided the run with strong defensively performance, denying the Mariners (8-5, 1-3 Landmark) any good looks at the basket and holding them to no field goals for nearly five minutes starting at the 11:05 mark of the second half. USMMA's Kaitlin Mulgrew finally ended the scoring drought with her jumper with 5:53 remaining. Hnatuck logged her fifth double-double of the season with 18 points and 11 rebounds, and was one of four Eagles to score in double digits. McDowell scored 16 points while dishing out five assists, and Walsh and Ashcraft chipped in with 12 points each. McDowell went 12-of-12 at the free-throw line for the night, all in the last two minutes of the game. The Merchant Marine Academy was led by Stephanie Waller with 20 points, while Morgan Gartner had 12. Foul shooting proved to be difference in the game; the Eagles went the foul line 23 times on the Mariners' 19 fouls, and converted 19 of those opportunities (82.65). USMMA shot just 8-of-14 at the line (57.1%) on Juniata's 13 fouls. Juniata returns to action Saturday afternoon, when it hosts Drew University in another Landmark Conference matchup. Tip-off will be at 2:00 p.m. -30-

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