(Posted December 29, 2006)

CLEVELAND, Ohio - Despite shooting 54-percent from the field in the first half, the Juniata College men\'s basketball team was unable to overcome an even sharper shooting effort from Defiance College as the Eagles dropped a 79-56 decision to Defiance in the opening game of the 2006 Bill Sudeck Holiday Tournament, hosted by Case Western Reserve University. Juniata dropped to 4-5 with the loss, while Defiance is now 8-2 after the win. Despite shooting nearly 60 percent from the field in the first 20 minutes, Juniata never led in the game as Defiance blistered the net at 65 percent shooting in the first stanza. The Eagles hung within 10 points for most of the half, cutting into the deficit with hoops from Brian Cannon (Fallston/Fallston, Md.) and Neil Holloway (Tussey Mountain/Saxton). Cannon converted a three-point play with 5:32 left in the half to get within seven, and then a pair of Nick Hager (Franklin/Franklin) free throws brought Juniata within six points at the 2:13 mark, but Defiance\'s T.J. Post answered with a triple that extended the lead to nine. Juniata trailed by 10 heading into the half. The Eagles\' hot shooting cooled down in the opening minutes of the second half, which allowed Defiance to build an insurmountable edge. Juniata was held to just two points over the first six minutes of the half as Defiance built a 22-point advantage. The Blue and Gold got no closer than 19 points the rest of the way as they were dealt their third-consecutive loss. Cannon paced Juniata with 13 points, and also grabbed four rebounds to lead the team. Holloway was also in double figures for the Eagles as he scored 10 points, and matched Cannon with four boards. Chris Jasiota (Oil City/Oil City) was tops on Juniata with three assists. Nick Sales led all players with 20 points in the game, one of three players to score in double figures. Anthony Pettaway and C.J. Johnson added 17 and 13 points respectively for the team, which shot 57 percent from the field in the contest. Sales led all players with nine rebounds in the game, and Matt Muratori dished out a game-high five assists. Juniata will compete in the consolation game of the holiday tournament on Saturday. ###

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