(Posted February 11, 2006)

Lebanon Valley 84, Juniata 76

HUNTINGDON, Pa. ? In a pattern that has become heartbreakingly familiar the Juniata College men?s basketball team staged a late second-half comeback only to see the effort fall short as the Eagles suffered a 84-76 set-back to Lebanon Valley College in Annville Saturday afternoon.

Tommy McConnell (Bishop Guilfoyle/Hollidaysburg) scored a team-high 24 points for Juniata which fell to 10-13 on the year and is now 5-7 in the Commonwealth Conference. Jimmy Curran scored a game-high 27 and Dave Kasyan added 20 for Lebanon Valley which is now 11-12 on the year and is also 5-7 in conference action.

After holding a narrow edge for most of the second half, the home team opened up a 12-point edge on a Dave Kasyan free throw with 3:21 left in regulation. The Eagles then staged a furious rally getting a three-point play from McConnell and back-to-back threes from Nick Hager (Franklin/Franklin) to pull within three with 2:26 remaining. Juniata got a look at the tying three on its next possession but the shot did not go. Lebanon Valley then took control of the game at the free throw line hitting 12 of 14 free attempts in the final two minutes to seal the victory.

The Eagles outrebounded the home team 41-33 in the game, while also knocking down 10 triples, but for the second time this season fell victim to efficient offensive production from Lebanon Valley. The Flying Dutchmen were 24-of-45 from the field in game, good for 53 percent shooting. The home team also was 29-of-41 from the free throw line, outscoring the Eagles by 19 from the charity stripe.

The game was tight most of the way as the score was tied on seven different occasions in the contest. The last tie came after a Travis Boyd (Juniata Valley/Barree) free throw knotted the game at 51 with 12:43 left in the second half. Lebanon Valley then put together a run, outscoring Juniata 11-2 over the next three minutes to take a nine-point edge. Back-to-back hoops and a free throw from McConnell brought Juniata back within four, only to have Lebanon Valley answer with seven-straight points, to take the first double-digit lead of the game with 4:36 remaining.

McConnell?s 24 points were just two shy of his career high, while he also passed out three assists. Boyd and Chris Jasiota (Oil City/Oil City) each added double-doubles for the Eagles as Boyd scored 13 points and grabbed 13 rebounds while Jasiota collected 12 points with 10 boards. Aaron Chamberlain (Tussey Mountain/Wood) led Juniata with four assists.

Curran scored his 27 points on 9-of-15 shooting while Kasyan grabbed a team-high nine rebounds to go with his 20 points. Dan Hodge was also in double figures with 10 points for Lebanon Valley. Dan Hogan led the team with four assists.

Juniata will try and get back in the win column Tuesday night when they play at Commonwealth rival Susquehanna.

JUNIATA (76): Boyd 5 1-2 13, Cannon 3 0-0 8, Jasiota 4 4-4 12, McConnell 8 4-5 24, Hager 3 0-1 8, Byer 1 0-0 2, Ferko 1 0-0 2, Opitz 1 0-2 2, Chamberlain 0 0-0 0, Holloway 2 1-3 5. Totals ? 28 10-17 76.

LEBANON VALLEY (84): Hogan 1 4-7 6, Kasyan 5 10-14 20, Curran 9 7-8 27, Enoch 1 0-0 3, West 1 1-2 3, Bretschneider 2 0-0 6, Hodge 3 2-4 10, Wolensky 0 1-2 1, Humphrey 0 0-0 0, Ruth 1 0-0 2, Kerns 1 3-4 6. Totals ? 24 29-41 84.

Halftime: Juniata 38-36. 3-point goals: Juniata 10 (McConnell 4, Boyd 2, Cannon 2, Hager 2); Lebanon Valley 7 (Curran 2, Bretschneider 2, Enoch, Hodgs, Kerns). Assists: Juniata 16 (Chamberlain 4); Lebanon Valley 15 (Hogan 4). Rebounds: Juniata 41 (Boyd 13); Lebanon Valley 33 (Kasyan 9).

Records: Juniata (10-13, 5-7 Commonwealth), Lebanon Valley (11-12, 5-7 Commonwealth).


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