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Juniata rally falls short in women's hoops loss to 19th-ranked Moravian

(Posted January 16, 2010)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- Juniata College junior Jen Hnatuck (Mechanicsburg, Pa./Trinity) poured in a career-high 28 points, but was one of only two Eagles to crack double-digits as Juniata dropped a 78-73 Landmark Conference women's basketball matchup with 19th-ranked Moravian, Saturday afternoon at the Kennedy Sports + Recreation Center.

Hnatuck was 11-of-13 from the floor with a 6-of-7 effort at the free-throw line.

Sophomore Ashton Bankos (York, Pa./York Catholic) logged 10 points, while freshman Jordan Speck (Huntingdon, Pa./Southern Huntingdon) finished with nine.

Senior Kelly Rotan had eight points, but hit a pair of 3-pointers and dished out five assists for the Eagles.

Juniata (8-8, 2-3 Landmark) staged a late comeback against a Moravian squad that was searching for its first win at Juniata since the Landmark Conference formed in 2007. The Eagles trailed by double figures as the game clock passed under 4:00 in the second half, but Juniata managed to work that down to a four-point deficit, 70-66, at the 3:03 mark on Bankos' traditional three-point play.

But the Eagles needed a defensive stop to keep the comeback effort going, and just couldn't get one.

Moravian scored the next six points to get its lead back up to 10 points, 76-66 with 2:25 showing on the clock. Juniata made another run at Moravian with seven straight points, five of which came from Hnatuck, to pull to within three points of Moravian with 59 seconds left. However the Eagles simply ran out of time to catch the Greyhounds.

"Our defense is not up to par," said Juniata head coach Danny Young-Uhrich. "We can't call on our defense to get stops."

A Juniata squad that has lived by the 3-point shot all season long, saw those shots fall short of the mark against the Greyhounds. The Eagles matched a season-low with just four 3-pointers out of their 20 attempts.

"That's a lack of confidence," said Young-Uhrich. "When you're complacent and you're on your heels those shots are going to fall short."

Moravian (13-2, 5-0 Landmark) countered with 44.6 percent shooting from the field, with five players cracking double figures. Sophomore reserve Alexandra Blair led the Greyhounds with 15 points and seven boards, while Jessica Foran had 14 points. Kate Harrison and Kirsty Stearns each had 12 points, while Emily Smith tacked on 11.

Juniata returns to action on Friday, Jan. 22, when it travels to Kings Point, N.Y., to face the United States Merchant Marine Academy.

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