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Sekulski's 9-of-9 from the free throw line pushes Juniata past Lycoming

(Posted December 7, 2010)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- Small bursts of energy and finishing foul shots in crucial moments kept Juniata men's basketball in the game and eventually ahead of Lycoming College with a final score of 75-72 in Kennedy Sports + Recreation Center, Tuesday night.

The first minute of the game proved how much of the game would go with junior forward Dan Sekulski (Douglassville, Pa./Daniel Boone) hitting a jumper and Lycoming's Mike Bradley coming right back with a jumper of his own.

The score was tied three times and the lead changed three times in the first half. Sekulski ran the show for Juniata (4-4, 0-1 Landmark) in the first 20 minutes with 17 points.

Neither team could seem to hang on the to the ball for long, with the Warriors tallying ten turnovers and Juniata tallying 11. Lycoming scored 11 points off of Juniata's turnovers, while Juniata grabbed 14 points off of Lycoming's errors.

The Eagles gained an eight-point lead at one point with 12:05 on the clock, but Lycoming quickly closed that gap by capitalizing on Juniata turnovers and finishing shots. Juniata edged Lycoming for the majority of the second half until the Warriors finally caught up and took the lead with 4:33 left.

The Warriors clung to that lead and were up 34-33 and the end of the first half.

The Eagles proved that they were not going to let up as Sekulski came out of the locker room to finish a layup just a minute and a half into the second half.

The Eagles and the Warriors battled it out until the Eagles finally found a surge of energy with 11:55 left on the clock. They gained another eight-point lead as Austin Ankney (Somerset, Pa./Somerset) finished a layup, Jeremy Hays (McMechen, W.Va./John Marshall) finished a jumper, and freshman Nick Pappas (Slatington, Pa./Northern Lehigh) came off the bench to finish a layup.

Lycoming refused to back down as they closed the gap 67-67 with a nail biting three minutes left.

In the final moments Ankney hit 1-of-2 from the free throw line and finished a layup. Senior Bruce Knowles (Duncannon, Pa./Susquenita) also came through in the end with a good layup putting the Eagles up 72-67. Lycoming's Ihsaan Davis responded with a jumper to gain two more points. Hays made 1-of-2 free throw shots with 18 seconds left on the clock then Davis sunk a three-pointer to quiet the crowd. With 11 seconds left the Eagles only led by a single point.

Sekulski did what the Eagles have been trying to do for the past few games, and sunk both free throws with seven seconds left. Sekulski then grabbed the final defensive rebound to wrap up the game.

Alex Raymond (Hollidaysburg, Pa./Altoona Area) followed Sekulski's 29 points with 15 of his own. Sekulski finished a flawless 9-of-9 from the free throw line and made 10-of-15 from the floor. Ankney had a game high of eight total rebounds and finished with 11 points.

Ihsaan Davis led his team with 18 points and kept Lycoming in the game in the home stretch.

Juniata outrebounded Lycoming 32-27 and had 13 second-chance points compared to Lycoming's seven.

After tonight's game, Juniata men's basketball will travel to Messiah to play Valley Forge Christian, in Mechanicsburg, Pa. at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, December 10th. They will play Messiah or Medgar Evers at Messiah on Saturday. The consolation game will be played at 2:00 p.m. and the championship game will be played at 4:00 p.m.

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