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Men's hoops closes out season with loss at Susquehanna

(Posted February 20, 2010)

SELINSGROVE, Pa. -- Juniata College sophomore Dan Sekulski's (Douglassville, Pa./Daniel Boone) career-high 19 points was not enough to carry the Eagles past their archrivals from Susquehanna University, who handed Juniata an 80-65 defeat on Saturday night at O.W. Houts Gymnasium.

Sekulski was 8-of-19 from the field coming off the bench, with 14 of his 19 points coming in the second half on a 7-of-14 performance.

He was one of three Juniata (9-16, 4-10 Landmark) players to score in double figures: Austin Ankney (Somerset, Pa./Somerset) also came off the bench to pour in 13 points on 5-of-5 shooting from the floor, while senior Jeff Berkey (Stoystown, Pa./Shanksville-Stonycreek) closed out a fine career with 13 points and a pair of 3-pointers.

Berkey also led the Eagles on the boards with seven rebounds, and dished out a game-high four assists.

Susquehanna (15-10, 8-6 Landmark) also had three players with double-digit scoring totals, led by Marcus Burke with 16 points. Spenser Spencer and Rob Estep logged 15 and 14 points respectively for the Crusaders, who earlier this week locked up the number four seed for this week's Landmark Conference Men's Basketball Tournament.

Juniata stayed with Susquehanna through the first five minutes of the opening half, when the Crusaders' broke the game open with a 7-0 scoring run. A Spencer 3-pointer was followed by two-point buckets by Hunter McKain and Burke, leaving the Crusaders with an 11-4 lead at the 13:20 mark.

A Berkey jumper broke the Crusaders' scoring run, but an Estep jumper and another trey by Spencer put Susquehanna in front by 10 points, and the Crusaders' pulled away from there.

Susquehanna held a 39-26 lead at the break, after shooting 50.0 percent (16-of-32) in the opening frame while holding Juniata to just 29.2 percent (7-of-24) shooting from the field.

Juniata made a run at Susquehanna midway through the second half, holding the Crusaders' scoreless for nearly four minutes while going on a 9-0 run. A pair of Ankney layups and a trey by Berkey fueled the drive, which left the Eagles trailing 51-41 with 13:42 to play.

However the Crusaders answered with an 11-2 run of their own, and stretched their lead to 64-45 by the 8:56 mark. Juniata would cut the deficit to 13 points late in the game, but were unable to get to within single digits of Susquehanna.

Saturday's game marked the final contest in the careers of Berkey and Ryan Jones (Coudersport, Pa./Coudersport). Berkey finished his four years at Juniata with 894 points and 264 rebounds, along with 124 assists and 72 steals.

Jones, who transferred to Juniata after playing his first two seasons of collegiate basketball at Catholic University, logged 460 points in his two years in "Blue and Gold" along with 258 rebounds.

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