(Posted January 19, 2005)

Juniata 67, Susquehanna 56

Huntingdon, Pa. ? Aaron Chamberlain (Tussey Mountain/Wood) scored a career-high 26 points as the Juniata College men?s basketball team won its second conference game in as many outings as the Eagles topped Susquehanna 67-56 in Huntingdon Wednesday night. The victory snapped a 10-game losing streak for Juniata against the Crusaders, and improved the Eagles to 7-9 on the year and 2-3 in the Commonwealth Conference. Susquehanna is now 3-12 overall and 0-5 in conference play. Juniata?s last victory against Susquehanna was a 78-76 triumph in the season finale of the 1998-99 campaign.

Juniata led for most of the game, but a 6-0 spurt from the Crusaders mid-way through the second half put Juniata in a 45-42 hole with 11:03 remaining in the game. After a three from Justin Price (Mt. Union/Mt. Union) tied the game, Chamberlain scored five-straight points to put the Eagles back in front for good.

Susquehanna pulled within one on two occasions in the final 10 minutes, the last time with 6:30 remaining. Juniata answered with back-to-back buckets from Chamberlain and Chris Jasiota (Oil City/Oil City) to push the lead back to five. A pair of free throws from Mike Malko cut the edge to three, but Juniata?s Nick Hager (Franklin/Frankling) answered with a three to make the lead 59-53 with just 2:12 left. Juniata then went 8-of-9 from the foul line in the final two minutes to seal the win.

Chamberlain finished with 26 points on 8-of-14 shooting from the field, including 5-of-9 from beyond the arc. He also added a team-high four steals. Jasiota was also in double figures as he recorded the first ?double-double? of his career with 16 points and a career-best 11 rebounds. Hager paced the team with three assists.

Chad Lauer led four Crusaders in double figures as he scored 15. Bubba Mills scored 13 and added a team-high nine rebounds and five assists. Matt Effler also finished with 13 while Malko added 10.

The game was tight throughout, as neither squad held a lead of more than 12 points in the game. The Eagles looked like it might be a blowout early as they opened the game on an 8-0 run. Three points from Effler brought the visitors back within five, but Juniata answered with a 9-3 run that put the Eagles up 17-5 with 9:39 remaining in the half. The Crusaders quickly responded with a 13-0 run of their own, coming all the way back to take an 18-17 lead. Chamberlain halted the run with a three, and the teams would exchange the lead several times over the final three minutes of the half before a lay-in from Kyle Optiz (Pine-Richland/Gibsonia) gave Juniata a 24-23 lead heading into halftime.

Juniata will look for its third-consecutive conference victory on Saturday when the Eagles travel to play at Albright.

JUNIATA (67): Byer 0 0-0 0, Chamberlain 8 5-5 26, Boyd 0 0-0 0, McConnell 3 2-4 9, Hager 2 2-2 7, Ferko 1 0-0 2, Jasiota 6 4-5 16, Opitz 1 2-2 4, Price 1 0-0 3, Holencik 0 0-0 0, Holloway 0 0-0 0. Totals ? 22 15-18 67

SUSQUEHANNA (56): Parry 0 0-0 0, Mills 4 5-8 13, Lauer 5 2-2 15, Malko 2 6-6 10, Effler 6 1-3 13, Marshall 1 0-0 3, Williams 0 0-0 0, Okonak 1 0-0 2, Glover 0 0-0 0, Prusch 0 0-0 0. Totals ? 19 14-19 56

Halftime: Juniata 24-23. 3-point goals: Juniata 8 (Chamberlain 5, McConnell, Hager, Price); Susquehanna 4 (Lauer 3, Marshall. Assists: Juniata 12 (Hager 3); Susquehanna 13 (Mills 5). Rebounds: Juniata 30 (Jasiota 11); Susquehanna 26 (Mills 9).

Records: Juniata (7-9); Susquehanna (3-12).


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Contact April Feagley at feaglea@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3131 for more information.