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Second half run leads Widener past Juniata women's hoops

(Posted November 18, 2008)

CHESTER, Pa. -- A 14-3 run by Widener University midway through the second half erased a slim Juniata College lead and allowed Widener to post a 74-65 win over the Eagles, in women's basketball action Tuesday night in Chester, Pa.

Juniata (0-2) had a 28-26 lead at the break, and held its last lead at the 16:33 mark of the second half after a Claudia McDowell (Alexandria, Pa./Juniata Valley) jumper put the Eagles in front, 36-34. McDowell had six points over the first three-and-a-half minutes of the second half, part of her 13-point effort on the night.

Widener's Casey Pritz responded with a layup of her own to tie the game at 36-36 at the 15:22 mark, the first of three straight baskets by Pritz to start Widener's 14-3 run. The stretch was interrupted by Kelly Ashcraft's (Bellefonte, Pa./Bellefonte) three-pointer with 12:03 showing, briefly cutting the Widener lead to 42-39.

The Pride lead reached its widest at 13 points, 63-50 with 4:00 remaining in the second half. Juniata briefly cut the margin to seven points, 65-58, with 2:43 left in the frame, after back-to-back layups by newcomers Brittany Ryder (Lancaster, Pa./Lancaster Catholic) and Jenny Cunningham (McVeytown, Pa./Lewistown). Widener quickly stretched its lead back to double-digits on foul shots by Lindsey Isler and Beth Dessart Mager.

Cunningham led Juniata with 15 points in 11 minutes played, while McDowell added 13 points. Juniata shot 43.9% from the field, but was just 1-of-8 from three-point range.

Widener (1-0) had four players score in double-figures, led by Pritz with 14 points. Megan Sipple chipped in with 12 points, while Rayne Reber and Becky Tyler had 11 points each.

Juniata returns to action this Friday, Nov. 21, when it faces off against Denison University in the first round of the Wilmington College Tip-Off Tournament in Wilmington, Ohio.

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