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Strong Eagles second half comes up short against Mariners

(Posted February 5, 2011)

KINGS POINT, N.Y. -- Juniata College sophomore guard Alex Raymond (Hollidaysburg, Pa./Altoona Area) lead the Eagles' dominant second half with a 14 point performance, while senior forward Bruce Knowles (Duncannon, Pa./ Susquenita) added 12 more, but it was not enough to defeat the United States Merchant Marine Academy as the Eagles fell to the Mariners, 62-60, Saturday night at Liebertz Gymnasium.

Raymond scored all 14 of his points during the second half, which helped the Eagles outscore the Mariners 45-42 in the second frame.

Knowles recorded the first basket of the game along with an assist by junior guard Dan Sekulski (Douglassville, Pa./ Daniel Boone). The Eagles didn't hold the lead for long. Seconds later, the Mariners came back from the deficit and kept the rally going.

The first half consisted of a back-and-forth basket-fest until there was 7:17 left on the clock. After a layup by Matt Hueber, the Mariners kept and maintained their lead until the end of the first period.

At the start of the second half, Merchant Marine held its lead by adding five points to the board. With 14:21 on the clock, a rally was began under the lead of freshman guard Lucas Mellott (Wardfordsburg, Pa./ Southern Fulton). His two point shot was accompanied by a Mariner foul; Mellott converted his foul shot which got the Eagles' rally going. After a shot by Knowles and a three-point shot by freshman forward Brian Scholly (State College, Pa./ State College), Juniata had the lead, 29-28, at 12:45.

Juniata had its largest lead of the game at six points with 8:26 on the clock, but soon the Mariners began to chip away at the deficit. The Eagles held their last lead until there was 4:19 left on the clock, when they lost it on a pair of foul shots by Reed Buck.

Overall the Eagles went 17-for-20 on free throw shots, recorded nine steals, and shot 37 percent from the field. Both teams shot over 50 percent in the second half, after a cold-shooting first half that sent the Mariners into the locker room with a 20-15 halftime lead.

Juniata returns to action on Friday Feb. 11, when the Eagles host their Landmark Conference rival Moravian College. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

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