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Bankos' layup lifts Juniata WBB past Merchant Marine, 59-57

(Posted February 6, 2010)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- Sophomore Ashton Bankos' (York, Pa./York Catholic) layup with just over a minute remaining was enough to guide Juniata College women's basketball past the United States Merchant Marine Academy, 59-57, in a Saturday afternoon Landmark Conference clash at the Kennedy Sports + Recreation Center.

Bankos' bucket with 1:07 remaining broke a 57-57 deadlock - the 17th tie of the game - following a 3-pointer by Merchant Marine's Rebecca Grimes.

Merchant Marine (8-13, 1-10 Landmark) failed to produce on its next trip down the floor, with Kiersten Healy missing a three-point attempt. Weathers grabbed the offensive rebound, but had the ball stolen by Bankos with 39 seconds on the clock.

Bankos' jumper to add insurance points was off target, with Alyssia Gordon (Spring Grove, Pa./Spring Grove) grabbing the rebound. A turnover gave the Mariners' a shot at a final game-tying or game-winning basket, but Merchant Marine was unable to get a quality shot away before the final buzzer.

The Eagles had led by as many as five, 57-52, with 2:56 showing after a pair of Jen Hnatuck (Mechanicsburg, Pa./Trinity) free throws. The Mariners' Janay Weathers pulled USMMA to within two points on a jumper just 30 seconds later, setting the table for Grimes' game-tying trey.

Juniata (14-8, 8-3 Landmark) survived the see-saw struggle by relying on its defense to take create opportunities for points. The Eagles forced the Mariners into making 25 turnovers, which Juniata turned into 24 points.

The Eagles then shot 42.1 percent (24-of-57) from the field, despite only going 3-of-22 (.136) from 3-point range - fewest threes by Juniata in a game this season.

Hnatuck finished with 19 points on 7-of-11 shooting from the field, including a 5-of-5 mark at the free-throw line. Bankos tallied 13 points, while Meagan Raville (McSherrystown, Pa./Delone Catholic) scored eight coming off the bench.

Freshman Alyssia Gordon (Spring Grove, Pa./Spring Grove) dished out five assists to go with her five points and three boards, while Paige Robertson (Altoona, Pa./Altoona) had two points along with three assists and four steals.

Grimes led the Mariners with 23 points, behind her 9-of-13 effort from the field. Weathers tallied eight points with a team-high seven rebounds, and also logged three steals. Brooke Picillo dished out five assists with a pair of thefts.

Juniata plays out its final three games of its 2009-10 season on the road, starting next Friday, Feb. 12, at Moravian College. Tip-off is slated for 5:30 p.m.

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