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Juniata men's hoops to make home opener in Doc Greene Invitational

(Posted November 21, 2008)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- The Juniata College men's basketball team will make its 2008-09 home debut on Friday night when it faces Alfred University in the opening round of the 2008 Doc Greene Invitational.

The Eagles (0-1) and the Saxons (2-0) will square off at 7:30 p.m. at the Kennedy Sports + Recreation Center, while Penn State DuBois (2-0) and St. Vincent College (1-0) will meet at 5:30 p.m. The winners will play for the tournament championship on Saturday, Nov. 21, at 4:00 p.m., while the consolation game will take place at 2:00 p.m.

Juniata will be looking to defend its 2007 Doc Greene Invitational title, and will be trying to rebound from a 81-69 loss at Penn State Altoona in last Saturday's season opener.

The Eagles are paced by six returning upperclassmen from a 2007-08 squad that finished with a 17-11 overall record, including a 10-2 mark on their home court in the Kennedy S+RC. Junior guard Jeff Berkey leads the returnees with 7.9 points and 3.4 rebounds last season, followed by senior forward Eric Mueseler with 6.0 points and 3.8 boards in the 07-08 campaign. Mueseler led the Eagles with 18 points, with senior David Thompson chipping in with 16 points, in the Penn State Altoona game.

Juniata will be facing an Alfred University squad that posted a 2-23 record last season, including a 1-15 mark in Empire 8 Conference play. The Saxons are off to a 2-0 start this season, with a 71-64 win over Wells College and an 80-49 victory over Penn State Wilkes-Barre.

Alfred is led by first-year head coach Dale Wellman, who has been aided by the return of standout junior forward Pat Smithgall. Smithgall was one of the leading rebounders in the nation last season, before a knee injury ended his sophomore season. Senior Carl Embury and junior Jared Patt are the returning starters, and serve as team captains along with Smithgall.

Rounding out the field will be St. Vincent College and Penn State DuBois.

St. Vincent downed Penn State Fayette, 126-39, in its season opener last Saturday in Latrobe. Seven players scored in double figures for the Bearcats, led by junior forward Mike Watkins with 23 points and 13 rebounds.

Senior guard Joey Butler headlines the Bearcat returnees from last season's 22-4 squad; he averaged 17.2 points and 5.2 rebounds last season, while sophomore guard B.J. McGill chipped in with another 10.1 points and 2.7 boards. Senior forward Mike Medved is hauling down 5.2 rebounds to go with 8.2 points.

Penn State DuBois brings a 2-0 record into the Doc Greene, following a 74-69 win over Jamestown Community College and an 81-77 victory over Pitt-Titusville.

The Lions lost four starters off last year's team, but return the services of junior guard Marcus Genevro, the reigning Penn State University Athletic Conference (PSUAC) Player of the Year. Penn State DuBois went 15-15 last season, reaching the PSUAC semifinals and the advancing to the USCAA national tournament.â??

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