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Juniata bench sparks game-clinching run as Eagles sprint past Pitt-Greensburg

(Posted November 28, 2009)

GREENSBURG, Pa. -- Only five games into the 2009-10 season, it's already becoming something of the norm for Juniata College women's basketball.

Getting offense-on-demand off the bench.

Juniata's bench players contributed 11 points in a 16-3 second-half run, squashing a Pitt-Greensburg rally and leading the Eagles to a 69-52 victory over the Bobcats, Saturday afternoon at Chambers Hall Gym.

Junior forward Jen Hnatuck (Mechanicsburg, Pa./Trinity) logged her third double-double of the season with 18 points and 10 rebounds, while senior Kelly Rotan (Atco, N.J./Hammonton) scored a season-high 10 points with nine boards. Sophomore guard Meagan Raville (McSherrystown, Pa./Delone Catholic) also chipped in with 10 points, while sophomore guard Ashton Bankos (York, Pa./York Catholic) tacked on nine points and matched a career-high with 10 rebounds.

Pitt-Greensburg (2-2, 1-0 Allegheny Mountain) had a pair of scorers in double-digits, led by Kelsey Wilcox with 15 points and 16 rebounds, to go along with seven assists. Lindsay Littler added 10 points in the losing cause.

After a Rotan three-pointer to open the second half expanded Juniata's lead to nine points, 36-27, Pitt-Greensburg scored the next six points of the second frame. A Kelly Mornak layup ended the run, cutting the Eagles' lead to three points, 36-33, with 17:02 remaining.

A Brittany Danel (Stoystown, Pa./North Star) jumper extended Juniata's lead back to two possessions, and jump-started a 16-3 run that last nearly six-and-a-half minutes.

Natalie Glinsky (Indiana, Pa./Indiana) drained her only trey of the day to continue the scoring surge, and Rotan hit the second of two free throws at the 15:04 mark to stretch the Juniata lead to 42-33.

The run was briefly interrupted by Bria Gwosden's layup for the Bobcats with 14:44 showing. However that would be Pitt-Greensburg's last bucket for next six minutes.

Reserve guard Paige Robertson (Altoona, Pa./Altoona Area) hit the first of two three-pointers to take Juniata's lead into double figures, 45-35, with an Alyssia Gordon (Spring Grove, Pa./Spring Grove) jumper and another Robertson trey padding the lead. Rotan hit a pair of free-throws with 10:16 remaining, giving the Eagles a 16-point lead, 52-36.

Juniata (3-2, 0-0 Landmark) coasted the rest of the way, with the lead reaching 19 points with 2:52 showing after a pair of Bankos foul shots.

The Juniata bench contributed 20 of the team's 69 points in the win over Pitt-Greensburg, including 16 points in the second half alone. Robertson paced the reserves with nine points, on two three-pointers and 3-of-4 accuracy at the free-throw line.

The Eagles dominated the Bobcats on the boards, 50-31, including a 23-9 advantage on the offensive glass that yielded 20 second-chance points for Juniata. Juniata also shot 7-of-20 from three-point range against Pitt-Greensburg.

Just five games into the 2009-10 campaign, the Eagles have connected on 45 three pointers - over a third of what they hit in all of 2008-09 (120).

Juniata is idle until this Saturday, Dec. 5, when it opens Landmark Conference play by hosting Susquehanna University 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.