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MBB can't overcome slow start, fall to Drew, 58-54

(Posted January 23, 2010)

MADISON, N.J. - Scoring 19 points and shooting 26.9% in the first half created too much of a deficit for the Juniata College men's basketball team as they finished its Landmark Conference weekend on the road with a 58-54 loss to Drew University in Baldwin Gym, Saturday afternoon.

The team shot 7-26 in the opening 20 minutes, putting themselves in a 27-19 hole going into the locker room. The team carried a 6-0 lead after three and a half minutes, but lost the lead for good in the first half on a made lay up with 10:48 left to play.

The Rangers went on to outscore the Eagles 17-9 to push the score to 27-17 with 1:47 showing on the clock. The 10-point lead was the largest of the game for either squad.

Juniata (8-10, 3-4 Landmark) cut the lead to one in the opening two and half minutes of the second half using a 7-0 run. Sophomore Nate Higgins (St. Mary's, Pa./Elk County Catholic) hit a jumper to start the rally, followed by five straight points from senior Jeff Berkey (Stoystown, Pa./Shanksville-Stoneycreek).

The Eagles eventually took the lead at 31-29 after a Bruce Knowles (Duncannon, Pa./Susquenita) lay-in with 14:18 remaining. They managed to stretch the lead to six points following another Knowles layup, but the team saw the lead dwindle from there.

Drew (5-12, 2-5 Landmark) took the lead for good on a Mike Mayes layup at the 4:41 mark, and the Eagles were never able to recover. The second half lead jumped to seven points at 48-41 with just under three minutes left to play.

Juniata squeezed it back to a three-point game a couple times, but could never get any closer than that before settling on the final outcome.

Berkey led all scorers with 17 points on 7-16 shooting from the floor. Sophomore Dan Sekulski (Douglassville, Pa./Daniel Boone Area) was the only other Eagle in double figures with 11 off the bench. He also led the team with senior Ryan Jones (Coudersport, Pa./Coudersport), grabbing seven rebounds.

The Rangers had four players in double-digits starting with Kyle Joyce who scored 15 points off the bench. Terrell Brown added 14 points and seven rebounds while Mayes finished with 12. Lucas Levenson chipped in with 10 points and game high eight boards.

The Eagles return to the hardwood next weekend when they play their first of four straight home Landmark Conference games. They first take on Goucher College on Friday, January 29 at 7:30 p.m.

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