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Juniata comes from behind, wins Mutual Benefit Group Doc Greene Invitational in OT

(Posted November 21, 2009)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. - The Juniata College mens' basketball team trailed by seven points with five minutes remaining in regulation but stormed back to beat Grove City College in overtime, 82-72. The game was the championship of the Mutual Benefit Group Doc Greene Invitational, held in the Kennedy Sports + Recreation Center, on Saturday afternoon.

Freshman Alex Raymond (Hollidaysburg, Pa./Altoona) led all scorers with 20 points on 5-9 shooting, collecting eights points from a perfect day at the free-throw line. He is now 26-28 from the charity stripe on the season.

Senior Jeff Berkey (Stoystown, Pa./Shanksville-Stonycreek) scored 19 points on his way to earning the tournament's Most Valuable Player award. His clutch three with 1:04 left to play in the overtime period extended the Eagles lead to four, and sealed the victory. He shot 5-19 in this game, but made all six of his free throw attempts. He also grabbed eight rebounds in 36 minutes of action.

The game was tied at 27-27 at the half before the Wolverines controlled much of the second half. Their lead grew to as many as seven with 5:07 left on the scoreboard after a 12-4 run, capped by a layup from Andy O'Keefe.

The Eagles battled back and took the lead with 1:21 remaining on a layup by newcomer, Darnell Wiley (Laytonsville, Md./St. John Prospect Hall). Two made foul shots each by Joe McCoy and Luke Tomaselli helped Grove City (1-2) retake the lead at 65-62.

The Eagles next possession started with 42 seconds remaining in regulation. Berkey put up a quick three that missed, but an offensive rebound by freshman Mike Walker (Homer City, Pa./Homer Center) kept the team alive. He dribbled out beyond the arc, set his feet and sunk a three-pointer to tie the game with 25 seconds to go in the game.

The game went to overtime when O'Keefe missed a short jumper from just inside the paint with three seconds. Senior Ryan Jones (Coudersport, Pa./Coudersport) secured the rebound, keeping the momentum on Juniata's side.

The overtime belonged to Juniata (2-1) who opened with a made three by Raymond. The teams traded baskets for the next three minutes before Berkey's clutch three. The team would sink seven of their next eight foul shots to put the game away.
Sophomore Matt Regan (Downingtown, Pa./Devon Prep) and Jones both scored in double digits with 12 and 10, respectively.

In the consolation game earlier in the afternoon, Penn State-DuBois pulled out a 90-79 win over Hilbert College. The Hawks made it a game in the second half after trailing as many as 26. They got within five at 84-79 with 1:24 remaining, but ran out of gas as the Lions came away with the win.

Raymond joined Berkey on the All-Tournament Team along with O'Keefe and McCoy from Grove City. Chris Dickison made it for the Lions after a 38 point, 11 rebound effort in today's matchup. Representing Hilbert was Roman Brown who had 13 points and five rebounds on 5-10 shooting.

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