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Juniata women's basketball drops 60-58 heartbreaker to Saint Vincent in ECAC South championship

(Posted March 7, 2010)

LATROBE, Pa. -- Saint Vincent College guard Emily Fenton hit a pair of free throws with 5.4 seconds left in regulation, lifting the second-seeded Bearcats to a 60-58 win over Juniata College, in Sunday evening's championship game of the ECAC Division III South Region Championship.

The loss ended Juniata's bid to repeat as ECAC South champions, and successfully defend they won a year ago. The Eagles close out their 2009-10 season with a 17-12 record.

Junior forward Jen Hnatuck (Mechanicsburg, Pa./Trinity) led Juniata with 18 points and nine rebounds, behind a 7-of-13 shooting effort from the floor. She was the only Eagle to score in double figures. Freshman Jordan Speck (Huntingdon, Pa./Southern Huntingdon) tallied nine points off the bench, while sophomore Meagan Raville (McSherrystown, Pa./Delone Catholic) added eight points.

Juniata picked up 22 of its 58 points from its five reserves.

Sophomore guard Ashton Bankos (York, Pa./York Catholic) had five points, but also dished out five assists. Senior forward Kelly Rotan (Atco, N.J./Hammonton), playing in her final collegiate game, posted seven points with seven rebounds and handing out four assists.

Maria Baroffio led Saint Vincent's with 18 points and four assists, while Brittany Sedlock logged a double-double with 10 points and 12 rebounds.

The Eagles had been leading by four points as the second half clock moved under three minutes, following Hnatuck's layup to stretch Juniata's lead to 56-52. After a pair of missed Saint Vincent rebounds, the third time proved to be the charm as Fenton layup cut Juniata's lead to just two points.

A missed 3-point attempt by Rotan at the other end of the floor returned the ball to the Bearcats, and a Fenton trey gave Saint Vincent a 57-56 lead. That advantage didn't last long, as Hnatuck put the Eagles back on top with a bucket at the other end.

A Juniata foul sent Saint Vincent's Megan DePrimio to the line with 1:31 showing, and hit the second of two shots to tie the game at 58-58.

The Eagles missed on a jumper to retake the lead, with the Bearcats getting the rebound and calling timeout. A turnover gave possession back to Juniata, but a foul call against Bankos sent Fenton to the line for her two shots to take the lead.

Juniata's final attempt at tying the game was unsuccessful, as a long pass into the paint toward Hnatuck was picked off by Sedlock as the buzzer sounded. The win allowed Saint Vincent to finish the season with a 23-5 record.

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