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Juniata WBB fails to find shooting touch in loss to Scranton

(Posted January 10, 2009)

SCRANTON, Pa. -- For the Juniata College women's basketball team, it must have seemed like there was a lid on the basket at the University of Scranton's Long Center.

Juniata (6-8, 0-3 Landmark) shot just 23.7% from the field, hitting just seven field goals in each half, as the Eagles dropped a 63-42 decision to the archrival Royals on Saturday afternoon in Scranton, Pa.

Only one player, sophomore Erin McGinley (Ashland, Pa./Tri-Valley) hit more than two field goals to aid the Eagle cause, hitting three of her four attempts from the floor on her way to a team-high seven points. With rookie point guard Ashton Bankos (York, Pa./York Catholic) out of the lineup due to an ankle injury, Juniata's starting five were held to just 14 points on a combined 5-of-32 from the field.

Scranton (9-4, 2-1 Landmark) didn't fare much better, shooting just 33.3% (11-33) in the first half and 36.5% (23-63) for the entire game. But the Royals scored the first seven points of the game, with the Eagles finally getting on the board with a Claudia McDowell (Alexandria, Pa./Juniata Valley) trey at the 16:33 mark of the opening frame - McDowell's only three-pointer of the game.

The Royals quickly got back into gear offensively, and gained a 21-7 lead at the 11:34 mark of the half. That margin reached 15 points, 35-20 at the intermission, with the two teams combining to hit just two field goals over the final five minutes of the half.

Scranton opened the second stanza with an 11-0 run, with Kelly Ashcraft (Bellefonte, Pa./State College Area) finally breaking the Juniata scoring drought on a layup with 14:00 showing on the second half clock. The Royal lead reached its widest at 57-29 on Emily Rainey's layup with 6:41 remaining.

Ashcraft led the Juniata starters with six points, while Kelly Rotan (Atco, N.J./Hammonton), Alexa Buchanan (Flourtown, Pa./Mount Saint Joseph Academy), and Kelsey Roman (Mercersburg, Pa./Mercersburg Academy) each had five points.

Scranton had two players score in double figures, led by Megan Kopecki with 15 points. Courtney Roselle tallied 11 points for the Royals, with Molly Klusek hauling down 12 rebounds.

The Eagles return to action on Friday, Jan. 16, when they face the United States Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, N.Y.

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