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Juniata comeback bid falls short in 58-54 men's hoops loss at Goucher

(Posted January 9, 2010)

TOWSON, Md. -- A Juniata College comeback bid late in the second half came up just short of the mark as the Eagles dropped a 58-54 decision to Goucher College, in a Landmark Conference men's basketball matchup Saturday night at the Decker Sports and Recreation Center.

Juniata (6-8, 1-2 Landmark) trailed by 10 points, 55-45, with under a minute remaining, when a Jeff Berkey (Stoystown, Pa./Shanksville-Stoneycreek) three-pointer cut the margin to seven points. Berkey was fouled on the shot, and completed the rare four-point play by making the free throw to bring the Eagles to within six of the Gophers.

Goucher's Shane Yambor converted the second of two free throws to stretch the Gopher lead back to seven with 12 seconds on the clock.

Freshman guard Alex Raymond (Altoona, Pa./Altoona Area) made a layup with five seconds showing to cut the margin to five points. Senior Ryan Jones (Coudersport, Pa./Coudersport) intercepted the ensuing inbounds pass and drained a three-pointer, and Juniata was just two points away from tying Goucher, 56-54, with three seconds remaining.

Juniata fouled Goucher's Dorian Green, forcing the Gophers' freshman guard to defend his team's lead at the free-throw line. However Green connected on both shots with a second remaining, allowing Goucher to take the win.

Goucher (4-8, 2-1 Landmark) led the game virtually wire-to-wire, with Juniata staying within one possession of the Gophers through much of the second half.

Juniata managed to tie Goucher twice in the second stanza - the first time at 12:54 on a Andy Wolfe (Carlisle, Pa./Boiling Spring) trey to knot the game at 30-30, and again 35 seconds later thanks to a Michael McCarry (Ambler, Pa./Upper Dublin) jumper. The Gophers fought off the Eagle challenge, and held their lead the rest of the way.

Jones led Juniata with 12 points, while Raymond tallied 10 points while dishing out three assists. Bruce Knowles (Duncannon, Pa./Susquenita) grabbed a team-high eight rebounds, but the Eagles were outrebounded for the game, 46-37.

Juniata shot just 27.1 percent (16-of-59) from the field, its second-lowest shooting percentage of the season.

Goucher did not shoot much better, going 17-of-53 (32.1 percent) from the floor - Juniata's second-best field goal percentage defense mark this season. Yambor was Goucher's high scorer with 16 points, and he hauled down 12 rebounds to complete the double-double.

Juniata returns to the hardwood on Friday, Jan. 15, when it hosts the University of Scranton at 7:30 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.