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McDowell's 22-point effort paces Juniata WBB past Catholic

(Posted January 25, 2009)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- Juniata College senior Claudia McDowell (Alexandria, Pa./Juniata Valley) scored 22 points - 18 points in the second half alone - to lead the Eagles to a 67-52 win over Catholic University, in a Landmark Conference women's basketball matchup on Sunday afternoon at the Kennedy Sports + Recreation Center.

McDowell was 5-of-11 from the field and 11-of-12 at the free-throw line, while logging her second 20-point performance of the season. Her second-half scoring outburst was part of a half in which Juniata shot 52.2% (12-23) from the field, after shooting just 36.7% (11-30) in the opening 20 minutes.

Both teams struggled to find any offensive rhythm in the first half, and the game was tied at just 13-13 at the 7:45 mark of the opening stanza. Juniata ended the frame with a 12-4 run, with five points coming from Brittany Ryder (Lancaster, Pa./Lancaster Catholic), and went into the locker room with a 29-19 lead at the break.

A pair of baskets by Kelly Ashcraft (Bellefonte, Pa./State College Area) and McDowell stretched Juniata's lead to 33-19 to open the second half. The Eagle lead reached its widest at 44-24 with 13:30 remaining, after a trey by McDowell and a jumper by Ryder.

Kelly Rotan (Atco, N.J./Hammonton) added 14 points for the Eagles off the bench, giving the junior forward her first double-digit scoring effort of the season. Ryder finished with nine points, while Jen Hnatuck (Mechanicsburg, Pa./Trinity) had eight points with a game-high nine rebounds.

Catholic had two players finish with double-digit scoring totals: reserve Brianna Peterson with 18 points, and Kate Robinson with 11 points and six steals.

Juniata remains at home next weekend, opening a two-game home stand with a matchup against the University of Scranton on Friday, Jan. 30, at 5:30 p.m. at the Kennedy Sports + Recreation Center.

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