(Posted February 18, 2006)

Juniata 72, Albright 57

HUNTINGDON, Pa. ? It was nearly a perfect ending to the season for the Juniata College women?s basketball team as the Eagles captured a 72-57 win over visiting Albright College Saturday afternoon in Huntingdon.

Senior guard Kristen Kirk (Newport/Newport) scored a game-high 21 points and became just the ninth player in the 33-year history of the women?s basketball program to score 1,000 points in her final home game. The day did not come with a perfect conclusion, however, as the Eagles missed out on the final postseason spot in the Commonwealth Conference as a result of Susquehanna University?s win over Lebanon Valley College. Juniata closed the season 13-12 and 6-8 in conference play, while Albright?s season concluded with a 14-11 record and a 5-9 mark in the conference.

The game was all Juniata from the start as the Eagles used hot outside shooting and a smothering defensive effort to put the Lions in an early hole. Nine early points from Kirk as well as threes from Lesley Snoby (Johnstown/Johnstown) and Ali Meckey (Bishop Carroll/Ebensburg) helped Juniata claim a 24-5 lead with more than 10 minutes gone in the first half. Albright battled back using a 10-2 run that featured a pair of hoops from Jennifer DuPrau to cut the lead to 11 points with 4:49 left in the half. Juniata answered with a Meckey three to halt the run and would eventually take a 17-point advantage into the locker room.

Juniata continued to pour it on early in the second half as a Kirk three followed by a Meckey triple extended the lead to 23, the largest cushion in the game. Albright begin chipping away at the lead under 10 minutes in the game eventually getting the margin back to single digits after a pair of Marie Levins free throws with 4:26 left. A Jess Winemiller (Dallastown/York) free throw put Juniata back up by 10 and then Kirk drilled a long two and her fourth three of the day on successive trips to push the lead back up to 15.

Kirk closes her career with 1,008 points which moved her into ninth place in the history of Juniata?s basketball program. It was also a strong day for Juniata?s other two seniors as Katie O?Brien (South Western/Hanover) posted her third-consecutive double-double with 18 points and 10 rebounds, while Snoby scored five points to go along with four boards. Meckey finished with 13 points and created some Juniata history of her own as finished the season with 56 three-pointers which ties the Juniata single-season record. The sophomore guard also led the team with four assists on the day. Winemiller added 10 points.

The Eagles improved by eight wins over their 5-19 season of 2004-05, matching the second-largest single-season turnaround in the history of the Juniata women?s basketball program.

Natalie Bizzarro finished with 14 points to lead Albright?s offense in the game. Levins added 12 points while Annie McMahon chipped in with 10. Meredith Berfer grabbed a game-high 11 rebounds while Levins led the team with three assists.

Juniata will return 13 players from this season?s roster when the team hits the court next season.

ALBRIGHT (57): Bizzarro 6 2-3 14, Howard 0 0-0 0, Berger 3 1-3 7, McMahon 3 4-5 10, Waligorski 1 0-0 2, Levins 2 7-8 12, Ciccone 1 0-0 2, Perry 0 0-0 0, DuPrau 4 0-0 8, Donegan 1 0-0 2, Roman 0 0-0 0. Totals ? 21 14-21 57

JUNIATA (72): Meckey 4 1-2 13, Walsh 0 0-0 0, Kirk 7 3-4 21, O?Brien 6 6-7 18, Snoby 2 0-0 5, Callas 1 0-0 2, Rhoads 0 0-0 0, Werner 0 2-2 2, Ashcrraft 0 1-2 1, Winemiller 2 6-9 10. Totals ? 22 19-26 72.

Halftime: Juniata 36-19. 3-point goals: Albright 1 (Levins); Juniata 9 (Meckey 4, Kirk 4, Snoby). Assists: Albright 6 (Levins 3); Juniata 14 (Meckey 4). Rebounds: Albright 35 (Berger 11); Juniata 40 (O?Brien 10).
Records: Albright (14-11, 5-9 Commonwealth), Juniata (13-12, 6-8 Commonwealth).


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