(Posted January 26, 2005)

Lebanon Valley 73, Juniata 70 (OT)

Huntingdon, PA. - The Juniata College women's basketball team showed Wednesday night that it can play with some of the top teams in the Commonwealth Conference, but in this case that wasn't quite good enough as Juniata dropped a 73-70 overtime thriller to Lebanon Valley College in Huntingdon. Juniata is now 5-12 on the season, 1-6 in conference play, while the Flying Dutchmen improved to 10-4 overall and 4-2 in the Commonwealth.

Kristen Kirk (Newport/Newport) sent the game into overtime as she nailed a three with eight seconds remaining to tie the game at 62.

In the overtime the visitors took a quick four-point lead before a basket from Katie O'Brien (Southwestern/Hanover) and two free throws from Jill Walsh (Ferndale/Johnstown) tied the score for the 13th time. The lead went back-and-forth twice with Jess Winemiller (Dallastown/York) and Mindy Werner (West York/York) both hitting shots to put Juniata in front late. But Lebanon Valley made the final play as Donna Geiger scored with 34 seconds left to give the visitors a one-point lead, then the Flying Dutchmen defense clamped down and didn't allowed Juniata to get off a shot in the final seconds.

It didn't seem like overtime would be necessary when Lebanon Valley's pressure defense sparked an 11-0 run mid-way through the second half tot take a 56-45 lead with 6:31 left The next three minutes then belonged to the Eagles as the Blue and Gold ran off a 10-0 run of their own to cut the deficit to one. Juniata kept the margin within four points down the stretch, allowing for Kirk's heroics in the final seconds of regulation.

The two runs late in the second half marked the only time either team was able to put any kind of cushion on the scoreboard. Neither team led by more than five points in the first half, while the two squads were tied eight times in the first 20 minutes. A five-point Juniata lead early in the second half was the largest margin either team enjoyed before Lebanon Valley's 11-0 spurt.

The visitors outscored Juniata 24-10 at the foul line, while the Eagles made up the difference by going 8-of-17 from three-point range.

O'Brien finished as the game's high scorer as she poured in 18 points while adding 10 rebounds. Winemiller also posted a "double-double" with 13 points and a career-best 13 boards while adding a career-high seven steals. Ali Meckey (Bishop Carroll/Ebensburg) who had a key three during Juniata's second-half run added 12 points for the Eagles. Walsh passed out four assists to pace Juniata.

Lebanon Valley finished with four players in double figures. Northcott and Geiger each had 14, while Northcott also added a team-best nine rebounds. Monica Johnson added 12 for the visitors, while Crystal Gibson led all players with six assists. Erin Eaby was a force defensively as she posted eight steals.

The Eagles return to action Saturday when they host Commonwealth Conference foe Widener.

JUNIATA (70): Meckey 4 0-0 12, Walsh 1 2-2 4, Kirk 3 0-0 9, Winemiller 5 2-2 13, O'Brien 7 4-5 18, Callas 4 0-0 8, Rhoads 0 0-0 0, Werner 2 2-2 6, Snoby 0 0-0 0. Totals - 26 10-11 70

LEBANON VALLEY (73): Gibson 1 7-10 9, Rogers 2 3-7 7, Eaby 2 4-6 8, Butler 3 2-2 9, Northcott 6 2-4 14, Geiger 4 6-8 14, Johnson 6 0-1 12. Totals - 24 24-38 73.

Halftime: Tied 32-32. 3-point goals: Juniata 8 (Meckey 4, Kirk 3, Winemillerr); Lebanon Valley 1 (Butler). Assists: Juniata 22 (Walsh 4); Lebanon Valley 16 (Gibson 6). Rebounds: Juniata 43 (Winemiller 13); Lebanon Valley 37 (Northcott 9).
Records: Juniata (5-12); Lebanon Valley (10-4).


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