(Posted February 4, 2006)

Juniata 68, Widener 50

HUNTINGDON, Pa. ? The Juniata College women?s basketball matched its season high with 10 three pointers to help earn a 68-50 Commonwealth Conference victory over Widener University in Huntingdon Saturday afternoon.

Kristen Kirk (Newport/Newport) and Ali Meckey (Bishop Carroll/Ebensburg) both finished with 18 points and drilled all 10 of Juniata?s triples between them as the Eagles improved to 10-11 on the season and 3-7 in conference play. Widener dropped to 13-8 on the and are now 6-4 in the conference. Juniata?s three conference victories are the most the team has earned since the 2002-03 season, and keeps the Eagles in contention for a conference postseason berth.

The 18 points was the second-highest total of the season for Meckey and she matched a career-high with six three pointers as she was 6-of-10 from downtown. Kirk finished 4-of-10 from long range, and with the four threes moved into second place in Juniata history in career three pointers made.

Despite the long-range shooting it was Juniata?s defense that proved to be the difference in the second half. After holding a 10-point lead at the half, and extending it to 12 in the early stages of the first half a Jane Ostrowski lay-up with 8:34 remaining brought the Pioneers within six. But from that point Juniata?s defense clamped down and allowed just one basket and one free throw to close the game on a 15-3 run to seal the victory. Kirk drilled her final pair of triples during the stretch to help extend the lead.

Despite shooting just 36 percent from the field itself for the game, the Eagles limited Widener to 30 percent shooting in the second half, and did not allow the visitors a single successful three-point attempt. Widener?s 50 points matched the lowest total the Eagles have held an opponent to this season.

The Eagles jumped ahead by as many as eight in the early going taking a 22-14 lead on a Kelly Ashcraft (State College/Bellefonte) jumper at the 10:08 mark. Widener quickly answered with an 8-0 run tying the game on a Chelsea Luhta lay-up with 8:04 left in the half. Another Ashcraft hoop, followed by a Kirk three pushed Juniata?s lead to five and the Pioneers got no closer than that the rest of the contest.

Meckey and Kirk were the only Eagles in double figures for the game, though Katie O?Brien (South Western/Hanover) and Lesley Snoby (Johnstown/Johnstown) both chipped in with eight points. O?Brien also grabbed a game-high 10 rebounds, while Mindy Werner (West York/York) passed out five assists to lead the Eagles.

Dominique Kidd paced the visitors with 15 points and eight rebounds in the game as Widener had three players in double figures. Luhta added 12 points and Ostrowski added 10. Luhta and Linette Babiarz both dished out three assists.

The Eagles return to action Tuesday night with a home conference tilt against Elizabethtown.

WIDENER (50): Luhta 5 2-3 12, Babiarz 0 1-2 1, Kidd 4 7-9 15, Ostrowski 4 2-2 10, Dessart Mager 0 0-2 0, Sipple 0 1-2 1, Tosti 0 0-0 0, Boody 0 0-0 0, Guarrera 1 0-0 2, Hilliard 4 1-1 9. Totals 18 14-21 50.

JUNIATA (68): Meckey 6 0-0 18, Walsh 1 0-0 2, Kirk 6 2-2 18, Winemiller 1 2-2 4, O?Brien 4 0-0 8, Callas 1 0-0 2, Werner 1 2-2 4, Hauser 0 0-0 0, Ashcraft 2 0-0 4, Snoby 2 4-4 8. Totals ? 24 10-10 68.

Halftime: Juniata 39-29. 3-point goals: Widener 0; Juniata 10 (Meckey 6, Kirk 4). Assists: Widener 8 (Luhta, Babiarz 3); Juniata 17 (Werner 5). Rebounds: Widener 29 (Kidd 8); Juniata 42 (O?Brien 10).

Records: Widener (13-8, 6-4 Commonwealth), Juniata (10-11, 3-7 Commonwealth).


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