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First half lead allows Juniata women's hoops to survive second half challenge in 64-59 win over Lynchburg

(Posted December 28, 2009)

LYNCHBURG, Va. -- A sizable Juniata College first half lead gave the Eagles enough of a margin to survive a second half challenge as Juniata women's basketball upset Lynchburg College, 64-59, in a road contest at Turner Gym.

The Eagles (5-4, 1-0 Landmark) held a 22-point lead at the 5:16 mark of the opening frame, after scoring 19 of the game's first 24 points.

Lynchburg (2-5) cut into that lead in the waning minutes of the frame, outscoring Juniata 9-3 over the final three-and-a-half minutes. The Eagles' lone basket in that stretch was a three-pointer by senior Kelly Rotan (Atco, N.J./Hammonton), which allowed Juniata to head into the locker room with a 38-23 advantage.

After a Rotan layup ended Juniata's opening possession of the second half, stretching the Eagles' lead to 40-23, Lynchburg answered with an 8-3 run to chip into the Juniata margin.

A run of three straight Hornet layups trimmed the difference to just eight points, 51-43, with 8:29 showing on the clock. Lynchburg turned the contest into a one-possession game on Courtney Brewer's three-pointer with 48 seconds remaining, leaving Juniata with a 61-59 lead.

The Hornets immediately fouled Juniata's Ashton Bankos (York, Pa./York Catholic) on the Eagles' ensuing possession; Bankos drained both foul shots, putting Juniata back up by four, 63-59.

Lynchburg failed to convert a three-point attempt on its next trip down the floor, and an attempted jumper was blocked by Rotan, and rebounded by Bankos. Freshman Natalie Glinsky (Indiana, Pa./Indiana) eventually gained possession and was fouled, sending her to the line for two shots with 19 ticks on the clock. However Glinsky missed both free throws, and Lynchburg's Brewer rebounded for the Hornets.

Another unsuccessful Brewer three-point attempt resulted in a Lynchburg foul and two more foul shots for Glinsky; this time, she connected on the second shot with eight seconds remaining, extending the Juniata lead to 64-59.

Tamara Snead's final three-point attempt for Lynchburg was off the mark, preserving the win for Juniata.

Freshman Jordan Speck (Huntingdon, Pa./Southern Huntingdon) led the Eagles with 12 points and eight rebounds, while Rotan tallied nine points and seven boards. Bankos, Glinsky, and junior Jen Hnatuck (Mechanicsburg, Pa./Trinity) all finished with eight points.

Brewer led all scorer's in the game with 19 points on 7-of-14 shooting from the field, while Chevonne Booker logged 14 points for the Hornets.

The two teams combined for 67 turnovers, including a season-high 31 turnovers for the Eagles leading to 19 Lynchburg points. Juniata racked up 22 points on Lynchburg's 36 miscues; the Eagles also received 29 points from their five reserves.

Juniata returns to action on Wednesday, Dec. 30, when it travels to Latrobe, Pa., to face Saint Vincent College.

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