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Juniata WBB clinches Landmark tourney three seed with 67-55 win over Susquehanna

(Posted February 20, 2010)

SELINSGROVE, Pa. -- Freshman guard Paige Robertson and junior forward Jen Hnatuck each scored 14 points - all but two in the second half - to lead Juniata College to a 67-55 win over Susquehanna University, Saturday night at O.W. Houts Gymnasium.

The win allowed Juniata (15-10, 9-5 Landmark) to clinch the third seed for next week's Landmark Conference Women's Basketball Tournament, while Susquehanna (13-12, 7-7 Landmark) was relegated to the fourth seed. The Eagles will travel to Scranton, Pa., on Wednesday, Feb. 24, to face the second-seeded University of Scranton at the Long Center.

The Eagles held a narrow 22-21 lead over the Crusaders at the break, as both teams struggled to find an offensive groove. Juniata shot just 30.8 percent (8-of-26) from the field, not much better than Susquehanna's 33.3 percent (9-of-27) shooting clip. Hnatuck was held scoreless in the opening frame, and the Eagles' starting five was limited to just nine points.

In fact, Juniata trailed much of the first half, finally overtaking Susquehanna with just under six minutes remaining in the period. Kelly Rotan (Atco, N.J./Hammonton) bagged three of her five first-half points with a game-tying 3-pointer with 5:46 showing on the clock, and Natalie Glinsky (Indiana, Pa./Indiana) gave Juniata the lead 45 seconds later with a trey of her own.

Juniata and Susquehanna would trade one-point leads four times over the remainder of the half.

All that changed in the second half however, as Juniata roared out of the gate with a pair of Hnatuck buckets to grab a four-point lead.

Hnatuck picked up all 14 of her points in the second half with a 6-of-7 effort from the field and a 2-for-2 mark at the free-throw line. Robertson logged 12 points in the second stanza, going 5-of-8 from the field with one 3-pointer.

The closest Susquehanna would get to retaking the lead came with about nine minutes left in the game, when back-to-back layups by the Crusaders' Jennifer Butts and Ashley Watkins pulled Susquehanna to within two, 43-41. A Hnatuck layup and a Glinsky jumper got Juniata out of trouble, and Watkins and Ashton Bankos (York, Pa./York Catholic) traded 3-pointers, leaving the Eagles with a six-point lead with 7:22 to play.

Rotan also finished in double-digits with 10 points, while Bankos tallied eight points while dishing out four assists. Glinsky and Erin McGinley (Ashland, Pa./Tri-Valley) each added seven off the bench.

Watkins paced Susquehanna offensively with 18 points, while Samantha Cartwright and Erika Barron each finished with nine. Cartwright led the Cruasaders on the boards with a game-high eight rebounds, but Juniata outrebounded Susquehanna 40-29 for the game.

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