(Posted February 19, 2005)

Lebanon Valley 79, Juniata 69

Annville, Pa. ? Despite a career game from junior Katie O?Brien, the Juniata women?s basketball dropped their season finale to Lebanon Valley on Saturday, 79-69.

O?Brien (South Western/Hanover) had a career-high 24 points and matched personal bests with 12 rebounds and four assists, leading the Eagles in all three categories. Freshman Jess Winemiller (Dallastown/York) and junior Kristen Kirk (Newport/Newport) each chipped in with 13.

A Winemiller layup with 4:46 remaining tied the game for the ninth and final time. But Lebanon Valley scored ten of the next 11 points, holding Juniata without a field goal until freshman Courtney Callas (Freeport/Sarver) drilled a three-pointer with 20 ticks left. But the Eagles could draw no closer, as the Flying Dutchmen went four-for-four from the free throw line in the final seconds.

Erin Eaby led five Lebanon Valley players in double figures with 21 points. Monica Johnson came of fthe bench to score 18, Allie Butler added 12, Jennifer Northcott contributed 11, and Crystal Gibson had 10.

Juniata got 13 points in the first half from O?Brien and took a 38-35 lead into the locker room. A three-pointer from Jill Walsh (Ferndale/Johnstown) with 15:48 remaining gave the Eagles their biggest lead at 48-41. A minute late, a trifecta by Kirk once again pushed the advantage to seven. But Lebanon Valley slowly chipped away, taking their first second-half lead on a Johnson layup with under 12 minutes to go.

The teams traded buckets for the next several minutes. Each time the Flying Dutchmen looked to pull away, the Eagles had an answer. After a pair of free throws from Tamika Rogers put the home team up 61-58 with 6:18 remaining, Katie Rhoads (Hempfield/Columbia) tied the score with a triple. Eaby hit two from the charity stripe on the very next possession, but Winemiller answered with a layup to knot it up again.

Lebanon Valley scored the game?s first six points, before the visitors got on the board on a fast break bucket by Winemiller after a steal from Kirk. The Eagles took their first lead on a Kirk three-pointer with 8:24 remaining in the first half. Another Kirk three just before the buzzer provided the halftime margin.

Ultimately, Juniata was done in by turnovers, and cold shooting in the second half. After shooting 54 percent in the first 20 minutes, the Eagles managed just 39 percent from the field in the final stanza. And they coughed the ball up 25 times, continuing a trend that has plagued them all season long.

The Eagles finish the season at 5-19, with a 1-13 record in conference. However, there?s a lot of positive to take away from a season that appears disappointing in the win column. Juniata has no seniors on the roster, so everyone will be coming back. Five freshmen gained valuable experience, each finding themselves in the starting lineup at least twice and averaging at least 19 minutes a game.

JUNIATA (69): O?Brien 11 2-3 24, Snoby 0 0-0 0, Meckey 2 0-1 5, Walsh 1 2-2 5, Winemiller 6 1-2 13, Callas 1 0-0 3, Kirk 4 2-2 13 Rhoads 2 0-0 5, Werner 0 1-2 1. Totals ? 27 8-12 69

LEBANON VALLEY (79): Rogers 0 3-4 3, Northcott 4 3-4 11, Eaby 8 4-7 21, Butler 3 6-6 12, Gibson 2 6-10 10, Johnson 7 4-6 18, Gambino 2 0-0 4. Totals ? 26 26-37 79

Halftime: Juniata 38-35. 3-point goals: Juniata 7 (Kirk 3, Meckey, Walsh, Callas, Rhoads); Lebanon Valley 1 (Eaby). Assists: Juniata 18 (O?Brien 4); Lebanon Valley 18 (Gibson 6). Rebounds: Juniata 34 (O?Brien 12); Lebanon Valley 34 (Johnson 8).

Records: Juniata (5-19); Lebanon Valley (16-7).


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