(Posted February 18, 2006)

Albright 82, Juniata 77 (OT)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. ? In a game that was eerily reminiscent of many of its other contests this season the Juniata College men?s basketball team put together a valiant comeback only to come up just short in overtime as the Eagles fell to visiting Albright College 82-77 in overtime Saturday afternoon in Huntingdon.

Playing in their final game Juniata seniors Travis Boyd (Juniata Valley/Barree) and Tommy McConnell (Bishop Guilfoyle/Hollidaysburg) both finished in double figures to lead Juniata?s offense. The game was the fourth overtime contest Juniata had played in its 14 conference games this season, including a pair of double overtime contests. The loss brought Juniata?s season-ending record to 10-15 overall and 5-9 in the Commonwealth Conference. Albright closes the regular season with a record of 16-8 overall and 9-5 in the conference.

Juniata never led in the second half but pulled even midway through the stanza on a three from Aaron Chamberlain (Tussey Mountain/Wood) which capped a 9-0 Juniata run. Albright quickly responded pushing the lead back into double figures on a Trevor Deeter hoop with 7:20 left. Juniata continued to chip away at the advantage pulling within one after a Boyd free throw, and then again on a jumper from Nick Hager (Franklin/Franklin) with 1:33 remaining. Deeter then sank one of two foul shots with 59 ticks on the clock to bring the lead to two. Boyd was fouled on sank both free throws to tie the score on Juniata?s next trip, and Albright?s attempt at a game-winner was no good as the game went to overtime.

The visitors seized control early in the overtime session as a Greg Conroy triple put the Lions up six with 3:22 left. Boyd cut into the lead on the next trip with his second three of the game, and a McConnell lay-up with 1:46 left again brought Juniata within three. The teams then traded fouls and free throws with McConnell and Lee Walter each making 1-of-2 to keep Albright?s lead at three with 29 seconds remaining. Juniata elected to go for a quick two rather than trying for the tie, but couldn?t hit the shot and the Lions then sank to late free throws to close out the game.

Boyd finished with a team-high 16 points in the victory as he closed his career with five-consecutive double-digit scoring performances. McConnell scored 14 and also dished out a team-high six assists which gave him 321 for his career, the third-highest total in Juniata history. Juniata?s third senior Jeff Byer (Conemaugh Twp./Davidsville) scored five points and grabbed three rebounds in the game Chris Jasiota (Oil City/Oil City) and Brian Cannon (Fallston/Fallston, Md.) added 13 and 10 points respectively while Jasiota grabbed a team-high 10 rebounds.

Deeter led all players with 23 points in the game, while also finished with 10 rebounds. Conroy added 13 points, Tom Murphy had 12 and while Taylor Steltz and Walter chipped in 11 and 12 respectively. Matt Kieselowsky passed out five assists for the Lions.

The Eagles will bring back 15 players from this year?s team when they return to action next season.

ALBRIGHT (82): Steltz 1 8-8 11, Deeter 9 4-8 23, Kieselowsky 1 0-0 3, Walter 3 4-8 10, Murphy 4 4-5 12, Brudvig 2 0-2 4, Conroy 4 2-2 13, Medoro 0 0-0 0, Boles 1 2-3 4, Winebrenner 1 0-0 2. Totals ? 26 24-36 82.

JUNIATA (77): Byer 2 1-1 5, Boyd 4 6-8 16, McConnell 5 4-7 14, Holloway 2 0-0 4, Hager 2 0-0 5, Ferko 0 0-0 0, Jasiota 6 1-1 13, Opitz 2 2-2 7, Chamberlain 1 0-0 3, Cannon 5 0-0 10. Totals ? 29 14-19 77.

Halftime: Albright 39-34. 3-point goals: Albright 6 (Conroy 3, Steltz, Deeter, Kieselowsky); Juniata 5 (Boyd 2, Hager, Opitz, Chamberlain). Assists: Albright 15 (Kieselowsky 5); Juniata 18 (McConnell 6). Rebounds: Albright 40 (Deeter 10); Juniata 33 (Jasiota 10).
Records: Albright (16-8, 9-5 Commonwealth), Juniata (10-15, 5-9 Commonwealth).


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