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Dickinson holds off Juniata rally, escapes Huntingdon with win over men's hoops

(Posted November 25, 2008)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- Dickinson College's Kizmahr Grell went 4-of-4 at the free throw line over the final 15 seconds to preserve a 71-66 win for the Red Devils over Juniata College, in men's basketball action Tuesday night in Huntingdon, Pa.

Juniata (1-3) trailed by nine points, 65-56, with just over three minutes remaining, but went on a 10-2 run to narrow the gap. Jeff Berkey (Stoystown, Pa./Shanksville-Stonycreek) was fouled on a three-point attempt with 45 seconds showing on the clock, and drained all three of his free throws to cap the run and reduce the Dickinson lead to 67-66.

Justin Baker (Nanty Glo, Pa./Bishop Carroll) went to the line for two shots and a chance to take the lead with 17 seconds remaining, after Dickinson's Tom Leszczynski picked up his fifth foul. Both of Baker's attempts caromed off the rim, and Juniata was forced to foul in an effort to catch the Red Devils.

Grell connected on his first two foul shots with 14 ticks on the clock, widening the Dickinson lead to 69-66. Juniata's David Thompson (Altoona, Pa./Altoona) put up an unsuccessful three-point attempt from the top of the arc; Grell collected the rebound, and was again fouled and sent to the line with five seconds remaining, where he converted two more attempts.

The Eagles had trailed by as many as 13 points, 22-9, at the 8:14 mark of the first half, and went into the locker room down 38-26 at the break. A 14-6 run by the Eagles to open the second stanza quickly knocked that lead down to 44-40 before the 15-minute mark of the half.

Berkey finished with a team-high 20 points for Juniata, while Thompson tallied 18 points. Baker hauled down 13 boards to go with five points for the Eagles.

Dickinson (3-0) had three players in double figures, led by Grell with a game-high 23 points. Leszczynski had a double-double with 19 points and 13 boards, while Cory Kenny had 13 points.

Juniata takes a few days off for Thanksgiving, and will return to action on Saturday, Nov. 29, with a home game against Franklin & Marshall College.

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