(Posted December 12, 2005)

York (Pa.) 82, Juniata 74

HUNTINGDON, Pa. ? The Juniata College men?s basketball team hung with sixth-ranked York College (Pa.) for all 40 minutes, but the visitors? tough defensive effort in the final minutes proved to be the difference as the Eagles dropped an 82-74 decision in Memorial Gym Monday night. The Eagles now head into their winter break with a record of 5-5, while York improved to 6-1 on the year.

Trailing by four at the break, Juniata came out with a Nick Hager (Franklin/Franklin) three and a basket from Chris Jasiota (Oil City/Oil City) to claim its first lead since the 5:05 mark of the first half. After York pulled back in front on a Chad McGowan three, back-to-back jumpers from Brent Ferko (Freeport/Sarver) and Neil Holloway (Tussey Mountain/Saxton) gave the edge back to Juniata with 11:46 showing on the clock.

A Paddy Lee lay-in gave the lead back to the visitors, who would not relinquish it the rest of the way. The Spartans pulled in front by four with 8:32 to go, then saw Ferko and Tommy McConnell (Bishop Guilfoyle/Hollidaysburg) each score to tie the game at 60. After York answered with a 5-0 spurt, Juniata got four free throws to inch back within one with 5:15 left in the game. York responded with a 7-2 run to push the lead to six at the 2:52 mark. A late Travis Boyd (Juniata Valley/Barree) three made the lead four with 29 seconds remaining, before York sealed the win with six-straight free throws.

Brian Cannon (Fallston/Fallston, Md.) led Juniata with 16 points, nine of which came to open the game as he scored the Eagles? first nine points of the contest. Trailing by as many as six in the opening 10 minutes, the Eagles got a three from Ferko at the 9:08 mark of the first half that gave the Eagles their first lead since the opening minutes. After York rallied to go ahead by nine on a Kenny Fass triple, the Eagles battled back to go into halftime trailing by just four.

Despite being held to 38 percent shooting as a team, the Eagles hung close by taking excellent care of the ball. Juniata turned it over a season-low seven times, while forcing 14 York turnovers.

Along with Cannon?s 16, three other Eagles were in double figures. Ferko scored a career-high 13 points, while Boyd and Holloway each added 12. Boyd also paced the team with seven rebounds, while McConnell led all players with six assists.

McGowan was the top scorer in the game with 19 points. Brandon Bushey finished with 17 for the Spartans and led the team with two assists. Brian Singer added 13 and grabbed a game-high eight rebounds.

Juniata will be back in action on Jan. 2 when the Eagles take on 23rd-ranked Lincoln in the first round of a tournament at Franklin & Marshall.

YORK (82): Lee 4 0-0 9, Zerfing
1 3-7 5, Bushey 5 4-4 17, McGowan 6 6-7 19, Singer 5 3-4 13, Yeck 0 0-0 0, Fass 4 0-2 9, Fry 2 0-1 6, D?Arcy 0 0-0 0, Howard 2 0-0 4. Totals ? 29 16-25 82.

JUNIATA (74): Jasiota 3 0-2 6, Boyd 4 2-2 12, McConnell 2 4-4 8, Cannon 6 3-6 16, Hager 1 0-0 3, Byer 0 0-0 0, Ferko 6 0-0 13, Opitz 0 0-0 0, Chamberlain 1 1-1 4, Holloway 4 4-4 12. Totals ? 27 14-19 74.

Halftime: York 45-41. 3-point goals: York 8 (Bushey 3, Fry 2, Lee, McGowan, Fass); Juniata 6 (Boyd 2, Cannon, Hager, Ferko, Chamberlain). Assists: York 14 (Bushey 3); Juniata 17 (McConnell 6). Rebounds: York 41 (Singer 8); Juniata 34 (Boyd 7).

Records: York (6-1); Juniata (5-5).


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