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Women's basketball overcomes Scranton to become Landmark Champions

(Posted February 26, 2011)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- Juniata College women's basketball team defeated the University of Scranton, 67-49, to win the Landmark Conference Women's Basketball Championship, Saturday at the Kennedy Sports + Recreation Center.

"Four years of hard work and dedication," said senior forward Erin McGinley (Ashland, Pa./Tri-Valley) when asked what her motivation was behind winning today's game. "I did it for my teammates and my coaches, they are like my family," she added.

"Our team has such a great chemistry and we work hard for each other," said sophomore guard Natalie Glinsky (Indiana, Pa./Indiana).

The Eagles gained the first Landmark Conference Championship in program history and improved to 21-6 overall with the win. Scranton closed out the season 19-7 overall. The win gives the Juniata the Landmark's automatic bid to the National Collegiate Athletic Association Division III women's basketball tournament.

Juniata outshot Scranton, 37.9 percent to 32 percent from the floor and 35 percent to 11.1 percent from three-point range. The Eagles outrebounded the Royals 41-35 for the game.

The Royals came out to a strong start, getting up by six points before the Eagles could score. However the lead was short-lived and would be the Royals largest lead of the game. Just over five minutes into the game, sophomore guard Jordan Speck (Huntingdon, Pa./Southern Huntingdon) was the player to get things started for Juniata with a three-pointer to halt the Royals run.

Juniata battled back hard to take the lead, getting up for the first time, 9-7, thanks to a three-pointer from sophomore guard Paige Robertson (Altoona, Pa./Altoona Area). The Eagles got up by 10, 22-12, by the time there was 5:45 left in the first half. The five-point run consisted of back-to-back jumpers from Glinsky and freshman guard Jordan Hileman (Williamsburg, Pa./Williamsburg), and then a trey from Glinsky. The score was 29-22 at the first half buzzer.

The Eagles wouldn't quit in the second half, grabbing five points before the Royals went to the free throw line to score their first points of the second half. Juniata's largest lead of the game came with 47 seconds left, as Robertson drove to the basket for a layup.

Senior Jen Hnatuck (Mechanicsburg, Pa./Trinity) collected 12 rebounds for the game, while Robertson shot 7-of-8 from the floor, 2-for-2 from behind the arc, and made 3-of-3 free throws to collect a game-high of 19 points.

Megan Kopecki collected a team-high of eight rebounds for the Royals and a team-high of 15 points.

This will mark Juniata's third trip to the NCAA tournament, previous trips were in 1986 and 2008. The full results of the 64 teams in the NCAA Division III Women's Basketball Championship will be announced Monday, Feb. 28, at 3:00 p.m.

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