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Juniata MBB's five-game win streak ends with loss at Goucher

(Posted January 26, 2008)

TOWSON, Md. -- Juniata College matched Landmark Conference-rival Goucher College nearly everywhere except at the free-throw line, and that was all the advantage the Gophers needed to upset the Eagles, 85-78, in men's basketball action Saturday night in Towson, Md. The loss ended Juniata's (11-6, 4-2 Landmark) five-game winning streak, and leaves the Eagles tied for second place in the conference standings. The Eagles were whistled for 20 fouls, sending Goucher to the charity stripe 24 times ?" with the Gophers converting 18 of those free throw opportunities (75.0%). Juniata was 9-of-11 at the line on 13 Goucher fouls. Juniata held a comfortable 40-32 lead at the half, and still had a 10-point lead, 58-48, as late as the 11:24 mark of the second half following a layup by Garrett Bull (Red Lion, Pa./Red Lion). After Goucher had trimmed the margin to six points with two free throws by Nick DeSouza, Bull drained a three-pointer, his only trey of the night, to re-expand the Eagle lead to 63-54 with 7:07 remaining. Goucher's Marcus Cotton responded with two free throws following a foul by Brent Ferko (Sarver, Pa./Freeport), then the Gophers' Cameron Brown added a layup in short order, to quickly cut the Juniata lead to two possessions. Those points also launched an 18-6 run by the Gophers, that ended with Pat Bailey's three-pointer with 3:29 on the clock ?" the second of back-to-back treys by the sophomore - to give the Gophers a 70-69 lead. Juniata struggled to respond to the Goucher surge, as the Eagles went nearly five minutes without a bucket, following a Jeff Berkey (Stoystown, Pa./Shanksville-Stonycreek) layup with 5:38 remaining. Berkey finally ended the Juniata field goal drought with a three-pointer with 44 seconds left in regulation, cutting the Gopher lead to 79-76. A Cotton layup and four made free throws in the final 30 seconds were enough to beat back the Juniata comeback attempt and secure the win. The Gophers were aided by some clutch field goal shooting down the stretch; Goucher made its last seven field goal attempts of the game, all in the last five minutes. The Eagles had four players score in double figures, led by Kyle Opitz (Gibsonia, Pa./Pine Richland) with 10 points. Ferko finished with 18 points, while Brian Cannon (Fallston, Md./Fallston) had 14. Goucher was paced by Darrin Boswell's 18 points, with Bailey finishing with 17 points. Juniata will return to action on Sunday afternoon when it faces Catholic University in Washington, D.C. -30-

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