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Two 20 point scorers not enough in Landmark Conference battle

(Posted January 9, 2010)

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The Juniata College men's basketball team could not hold on to a one point lead with 1:39 to play as they fell to host Catholic University, 71-66, in Landmark Conference action on Friday night in the DuFour Center.

Five lead changes in the second half proved how evenly matched the two teams were, but it was 7-2 run over the last 1:18 by the Cardinals that cost the Eagles the game. Catholic took the lead on a made free-throw by Jason Banzhaf that resulted in the game-winner.

Freshman Alex Raymond (Holidaysburg, Pa./Altoona) gave Juniata (6-7, 1-1 Landmark) the lead heading into halftime as he beat the buzzer with a tough runner in the lane that seemed to seize the momentum for the Eagles. But Catholic (9-3, 2-0 Landmark) responded and gained its largest lead of the game at 6 on a lay in by Darrell Carroll with 14:23 remaining on the scoreboard.

The rebounding margin was major in the factor in the game as the Eagles were outrebounded 42-28. But it was on the offensive glass that Catholic did its damage. The Cardinals took advantage of a 20-6 rebounding difference on the offensive side that led to 18 second chance points.

The Eagles shot 8-11 from the free-throw line, but Catholic got to the charity stripe 24 times, converting 16, aiding the five point edge in the final score.

Leading the way for Juniata was Raymond who totaled 22 points on 7-11 shooting. He was deadly from beyond the three-point arc as he hit all four of his opportunities. Senior Jeff Berkey (Stoystown, Pa./Shanksville-Stoneycreek) added 21 points on 7-10 shooting. He also made all four of his attempts from beyond three-point territory.

Senior Ryan Jones (Coudersport, Pa./Coudersport) pulled in 10 defensive rebounds to lead the Eagles.

Juniata shot 47.1% from the field for the game as they made 24 of 51 shots. They also hit 10 of 17 from beyond the arc. Catholic shot 40% for the game as they made 24 of 60 shots but its bench was the difference as it outscored Juniata's 25 to 11 for the game.

The Eagles return to action Saturday, when they continue their first Landmark Conference road trip at Goucher College. Tip-off is slated for 7:30.

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