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Juniata men's hoops closes gap, but unable to clinch win versus Drew

(Posted January 17, 2009)

MADISON, N.J. -- Juniata College senior David Thompson's (Altoona, Pa./Altoona Area) three-point attempt in the final seconds caromed off the back of the rim, and an Eagle comeback effort fell short in a 62-59 loss to Drew University, in Landmark Conference men's basketball action Saturday evening in Madison, N.J.

Juniata (3-13, 1-4 Landmark) trailed 62-54 with just 1:16 left on the clock, when Thompson cut Juniata's deficit to five points with a three-pointer 11 seconds later. A Ryan Jones (Coudersport, Pa./Coudersport) layup trimmed the Drew lead to three points with 45 seconds remaining, taking advantage of a pair of missed free throws by the Rangers' Mike Mayes.

Drew's Ryan Eisner missed two more free throws with 14 seconds on the clock, and Eric Mueseler (Latrobe, Pa./Latrobe) grabbed the rebound off the second miss at the line. The ball eventually got into the hands of Thompson with six seconds showing on the clock, but his shot went 'back iron' allowing Drew to carry the win.

Juniata led 23-20 at the intermission, and scored the first seven points of the second half to take a 30-20 lead by the 18-minute mark of the second stanza. Drew slowly chipped away at the Juniata lead over the next eight minutes, eventually taking a 44-42 lead on a three-pointer by Gerard Mullin.

Jeff Berkey (Stoystown, Pa./Shanksville-Stonycreek) finished with 22 points on 9-of-17 shooting from the field, while Thompson tallied 12 points.

Drew (4-10, 2-3 Landmark) had four players score in double figures, led by Mullin with 13 points.

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