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11th-ranked Mount Union upends Juniata women's hoops in Holiday Classic tourney

(Posted December 30, 2010)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- A double-double by Juniata College freshman Kate McDonald (Pennsylvania Furnace, Pa./State College Area) and double-digit efforts by two other Eagles were not enough to overcome a second half rally by visiting University of Mount Union, as Juniata fell to the 11th-ranked Purple Raiders, 79-68, Thursday afternoon at the Kennedy Sports + Recreation Center.

McDonald finished with 10 points and 10 rebounds.

Senior forward Jen Hnatuck (Mechanicsburg, Pa./Trinity) led Juniata (7-5) with 17 points on 6-of-10 shooting, to go with her seven rebounds. Freshman Jordan Hileman (Williamsburg, Pa./Williamsburg) chipped in with 14 points and dished out seven assists.

Juniata shot 45.6 percent from the floor, but it was the imbalance between halves that was the Eagles' undoing.

Behind a 17-of-30 shooting effort in the first half, Juniata built a lead that reached double figures at 28-18, following an Erin McGinley (Ashland, Pa./Tri-Valley) jumper with 9:47 remaining. Mount Union briefly cut the Juniata advantage to two points, but the Eagles answered with a jumper and a pair of foul shots by Hnatuck.

Three-pointers by Alyssia Gordon (Spring Grove, Pa./Spring Grove) and Hileman helped stretch the Juniata lead back to 11 points, before free throws by Mount Union's Lauren Forquer and a trey by Maggie Miller left the Eagles with a six-point advantage at the half.

In the second half, Juniata opened with a jumper by Hileman, who was fouled and converted the foul shot to complete the traditional three-point play. The Eagles would then miss their next six field goal attempts, a scoreless run lasting nearly six minutes as the Purple Raiders went on a 15-0 run.

Juniata battled its way back to tie Mount Union at 56-56 on Meagan Raville's (McSherrystown, Pa./Delone Catholic) jumper with approximately 10 minutes left in the game. A 3-pointer by Rosa LaMattina at the other end of the floor put the Purple Raiders back into the lead, and Mount Union held its lead the rest of the way.

The Eagles were 9-of-27 from the floor in the second half, finishing the game 26-of-57 overall.

Mount Union shot 38.7 percent (24-of-62) from the field, but stepped up in the second half with a 12-of-29 (41.4%) shooting performance. The Purple Raiders had a huge advantage at the free throw line, connecting on 22 of their 28 foul shots. Juniata went to the line just 15 times, converting 10 of those.

LaMattina led the Purple Raiders (10-1) with 19 points with a 6-of-9 shooting effort. Kori Wiedt added 13 points, the bulk of those coming on a 7-of-8 effort at the charity stripe. Katie Crider came off the bench to add 11 points for the Purple Raiders.

Juniata returns to action on Friday, Jan. 7, when it hosts Catholic University.

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