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Juniata men's hoops outlasts Catholic in overtime

(Posted January 27, 2008)

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Free throws by Brent Ferko (Sarver, Pa./Freeport) and Eric Mueseler (Latrobe, Pa./Latrobe) in the final minute of the overtime period lifted Juniata College to a 74-71 overtime win over Catholic University, in Landmark Conference men's basketball action Sunday afternoon in Washington, D.C. Holding a one-point lead over the Cardinals heading into the final two minutes of regulation, Jeff Berkey (Stoystown, Pa./Shanksville-Stonycreek) twice converted a pair of free-throw opportunities. Those free-throws gave Juniata a three-point lead on each occasion, the last coming with approximately seven seconds remaining on the clock. The regulation win slipped away from the Eagles, however, as Catholic's Sean Stolzenthaler sent the game into overtime with his three-pointer from the right side as the final seconds of regulation ticked off the clock. After a Brian Cannon (Fallston, Md./Fallston) layup gave Juniata the early lead in the overtime period, the lead swung back-and-forth on four-straight three-point field goals ?" the first by Catholic's Jason Banzhaf, with Kyle Opitz (Gibsonia, Pa./Pine Richland) responding for the Eagles. The Cardinals regained the lead just seconds later on a trey by R.J. Dixon, but Berkey's three at the 2:33 mark put Juniata ahead 70-68. Catholic took a 71-70 lead on a traditional three-point play by Wes Parker at the 1:32 mark. A defensive foul by the Cardinals' Danny Quinn on Juniata's subsequent possession sent Ferko to the line, where he drained two shots to give the Eagles a 72-71 lead. Juniata extended its lead to three points on Mueseler's foul shots with 13 seconds on the clock, and pair of desperation three-point attempts by Catholic in the waning seconds ?" including a buzzer-beater attempt by Stolzenthaler ?" caromed harmlessly away. Cannon led the Eagles with 28 points and eight rebounds, with Opitz chipping in with 15 points. David Thompson (Altoona, Pa./Altoona) dished out a game-high nine assists. Catholic's Parker tallied 19 points to pace the Cardinals offensively, while Banzhof had 13 points. Foul shooting again proved to be the difference in the Eagle victory; Juniata went 16-of-17 (94.1%) at the line on Catholic's 17 fouls, while the Cardinals were just 7-of-11 at the charity stripe. Juniata will return to action on Friday, Feb. 1, when it faces the University of Scranton in a Landmark Conference road matchup in Scranton, Pa. -30-

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