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Late Three Deflates Eagles' Comeback at Grove City

(Posted January 4, 2010)

GROVE CITY, Pa. - A layup with 2:23 remaining in the game put the Juniata College mens' basketball team in front for the first time, but a Grove City three-pointer on the next possession proved to be the stake in the heart as the Wolverines went on to win the non-conference rematch, 51-47, in the Grove City College Arena this evening.

Trailing as many as 11 points in the second half, the Eagles used a furious 8-1 run starting at the 6:10 mark to take the lead on an Alex Raymond (Hollidaysburg, Pa./Altoona) lay in. But, 33 seconds later, Cody Fleeger would it the game winning three-pointer as the Eagles ran out of gas.

It was a hard-nosed defensive effort, as each team struggled to find its rhythm throughout the game. Juniata (6-6, 1-0 Landmark) took 55 shots from the floor, but only made 19. They were a shocking 1-13 from beyond the three-point arc and missed seven free throws throughout the night.

Coming into this game, the Eagles shot 40.2% from long distance, making 76 of 189 shots. They were also an impressive 75.6% from the foul line as a team.

Grove City (7-5) did not fair much better as they went 17-44 from the field, made 4 out of 24 three point attempts and missed nine free-throws of its own. The 47 points is the fewest the Wolverines have allowed in a game this season.

The Eagles had opportunities to take the lead in both the first and second half, but every time they would inch closer, the Wolverines would respond with a bucket of their own.

Trailing 12-11 in the first half after a jumper by Austin Ankney (Somerset, Pa./Somerset), Grove City's center, Andy O'Keefe, made a layup of his own to extend the lead back to three. But then an Eagles' turnover and a three pointer made it 17-11 less than 30 seconds later.

Trailing by two with 19 seconds remaining, the Eagles had two opportunities to tie the game up. Raymond missed a layup; Matt Regan (Downingtown, Pa./Devon Prep) gathered the offensive rebound but could not convert his own layup before Grove City took control.

Regan led the Eagles with 12 points and a career high 13 rebounds for his first double-double in his career.

The Landmark Conference schedule starts again for Juniata, as they will travel to Catholic University on January 8, before heading to Goucher College on January 9.

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