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Juniata women's hoops opens 2010-11 campaign with win over Gwynedd-Mercy

(Posted November 15, 2010)

GWYNEDD VALLEY, Pa. -- Juniata College women's basketball got a double-double from a starter and another from the bench, and tipped-off its 2010-11 season with a 71-69 win over Gwynedd Mercy College, Monday night at the Griffin Complex.

Senior forward Jen Hnatuck (Mechanicsburg, Pa./Trinity) scored 19 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, recording her 23rd career double-double. Freshman Kate McDonald (Pennsylvania Furnace, Pa./State College Area) came off the bench to add 14 points with 10 boards in her collegiate debut, giving Juniata its first two double-double contest in nearly four years.

Juniata's Meagan Raville (McSherrystown, Pa./Delone Catholic) also scored in double digits, adding 13 points on 6-of-14 shooting from the floor.

The Eagles (1-0) shot 47 percent from the floor in the first half while holding the Griffins (0-1) to just over 31 percent shooting, and grabbed a first half lead that reached as much as 16 points.

An 11-2 run by Gwynedd-Mercy to start the second half cut the Juniata lead down to two points, 39-37, by the 15-minute mark, and the Eagles remained in front by a single possession with under 12:00 on the game clock.

Juniata answered with an 8-0 run powered by a pair of Hnatuck layups, retaking a double-digit lead at 53-42 with 9:43 to play and staying well in front of the Griffins for the next five minutes.

Gwynedd-Mercy made its move with just under five minutes left in the game, going on an 8-0 run that ended with a Stacey Judge jumper to cut the Juniata lead to 67-66 at the 2:21 mark. McDonald and Raville each made layups ove the next two minutes to stretch the Juniata lead to five points, and the Eagles kept Gwynedd off the scoreboard. McDonald had a pair of key rebounds, one at each end of the floor, to aid the Juniata cause.

The Griffins' Kristy McGrath drained a three-pointer with 14 seconds remaining to cut the margin to two points, and a Hnatuck turnover gave the ball back to Gwynedd-Mercy. However the Griffins' Lauren Smith missed on a layup with under nine seconds showing, and couldn't get another shot off to tie the game.

Juniata's shooting slumped a little in the second half, the Eagles finished 28-of-69 (40.6%) from the floor for the game. Gwynedd-Mercy fared even worse, shooting 38.7 percent on a 29-of-75 performance. The Eagles dominated on the glass, outrebounding Gwynedd-Mercy, 49-39.

Juniata will take on Widener University on Friday, Nov. 19, at 8:00 p.m. at the McDaniel College Tip-Off Tournament. The Eagles will face either McDaniel or Kean in Saturday's consolation or championship game.

GAME NOTES: Hnatuck and McDonald are the first Juniata duo to get double-doubles in the same game since January 17, 2007, in a 76-64 win over Elizabethtown College; Kelly Ashcraft (20 pts., 13 rebounds) and Jess Winemiller (10 pts., 10 rebounds) each logged a double-double in that win over the Blue Jays... Hnatuck's 19 points gives her 1,047 for her career, allowing her to move from 10th to eighth among Juniata career scoring leaders. The two players she passed: Joy Hammers (1990-94) with 1,046 career points, and her current coach, Danny Young-Uhrich (1996-2000) with 1,045 career points... Juniata posted a win in its season opener for the second straight season, and the fourth time in the last five years.

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