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Juniata's three-point barrage not enough to lift Eagles past Misericordia

(Posted March 5, 2008)

DALLAS, Pa. -- Juniata College let an 11-point lead in the second half slip away in a pair of three minute scoring droughts as the Eagles fell to Misericordia University, 74-70, in an ECAC Division III South Men's Basketball Championship quarterfinal game on Wednesday night in Dallas, Pa. Juniata twice posted double-digit leads, each time following a three pointer by Eric Mueseler (Latrobe, Pa./Latrobe). Following Mueseler's trey with 8:57 remaining, Juniata did not hit another field goal over the next three-and-a-half minutes. The Cougars responded with a 14-0 run to take a 62-59 lead with 5:55 remaining, with a pair of layups by Dom Del Prete and a three-pointer by Matt Hornak fueling the surge. Garrett Bull knotted the game at 62-62 with a three-pointer with 5:13 left on the clock, and took the lead 40 seconds later with a trey by Jeff Berkey (Stoystown, Pa./Shanksville-Stonycreek). Another 8-0 run by Misericordia, lasting until the 1:36 mark of the second half, allowed the Cougars to re-take a 70-65 lead. A Del Prete foul on Juniata's Brian Cannon (Fallston, Md./Fallston) layup with 1:18 on the clock allowed Cannon to complete a traditional three-point play, cutting the Cougar lead to 70-68. The Eagles opted to foul Misericordia and force the Cougars, who shot just 69.2% from the free-throw line, to defend their lead at the stripe. MU's Ryan Roa converted both his foul shots with 43 seconds remaining, while both Hornak and Marcus Little made one of their two attempts - just enough to allow the Cougars to post the win and advance. Cannon led Juniata offensively with 26 points on 11-of-25 shooting from the field, while pulling down a season- and game-high 16 rebounds. Mueseler was the only other Eagle to score in double figures with 13 points, largely behind perfect 3-of-3 shooting from three-point range. Juniata matched a season-high with 11 total three-pointers, and shot 42.3% (11-26) from beyond the arc. The Eagles were also a perfect 7-of-7 at the stripe. Misericordia had five players score in double figures, led by Del Prete with 16 points. Little added 14 to the cause, and Hornak chipped in with 13. Roa and Vinny Baumunk rounded out Misericordia's double-figure scorers with 12 and 11 points respectively. Juniata wraps up its 2007-08 season with a 17-11 overall record, after making its second appearance in as many seasons in the ECAC South Tournament. Misericordia will advance to play the winner of the Grove City College/Carnegie Mellon quarterfinal match. -30-

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