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Strong second half pushes men's hoops past Drew, 66-48

(Posted February 5, 2010)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. - A 20-7 run to start the second half extended a four point halftime lead to 17 for the Juniata College men's basketball team as they cruised to a 66-48 victory over Drew University in Landmark Conference action inside the Kennedy Sports + Recreation Center, on Friday night.

The Eagles had an 11 point lead twice in the first half, the latest with 3:41 showing one the scoreboard, after freshman Alex Ramyond (Hollidaysburg, Pa./Altoona) knocked down a three-pointer. But, the Rangers fought back as they went on an 8-1 run to close out the half. Drew (7-14, 3-7 Landmark) closed the gap to 26-22 heading into the lock room.

Juniata (9-12, 4-6 Landmark) stormed out of halftime and put the pedal to the metal as Matt Regan (Downingtown, Pa./Devon Prep) hit back to back layups followed by Dan Sekulski's (Douglassville, Pa./Daniel Boone) back-to-back buckets to put the Eagles ahead 34-24.

But the defining moment of the game came when senior Jeff Berkey (Stoystown, Pa./Shanksville-Stoneycreek) hit his first three-pointer of the game, and following it up with a steal off the inbound pass and laying home another basket. With 16:34 remaining, Juniata was leading 41-27.

The lead grew to as many as 26 with 8:43 remaining in the second half when Sekulski put in a lay-in to run the score to 62-36. The Rangers used a 12-4 run over the rest of the second half to cut the final score to 18 points.

Sekulski finished with 12 points and six assists, as four players scored in double-digits for head coach Greg Curley. Senior Ryan Jones (Coudersport, Pa./Coudersport) led all scorers with 15 points on 6-10 shooting. Berkey scored all 14 of his points in the second half, hitting four jumpers from beyond the three-point arc. Regan ended with 11 points and six rebounds.

McNeil Wrice paced the Rangers with nine points, but Drew committed 15 turnovers which led to 14 points for the Eagles.

Juniata shot 49% from the floor for the game, 68% in the second half alone. Drew could only finish 38.3% of the shots it took.

The Eagles remain home for their final home contest of the 2009-10 regular season on Saturday. It will be senior night for the Eagles as they celebrate the careers of Berkey and Jones. They square off against Merchant Marine starting at 4 p.m.

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