(Posted December 29, 2006)

TIFFIN, Ohio - Kelly Ashcraft (State College/State College) scored a career-high 20 points but it wasn\'t quite enough as Juniata suffered a 60-54 loss to Alma College in an opening night game of the 2006 Heidelberg Holiday Alumni Classic. Juniata fell to 7-2 with the loss, while Alma improved to 4-4. Juniata never led in the contest, but pulled within one point midway through the second half after three-straight hoops from Ashcraft. A three pointer from Abigail Way stopped Juniata\'s run, and sparked a 7-0 run for the Scots which made the lead 48-40 with 8:05 remaining. The Eagles pulled within three points three times the rest of the way, once after a free throw from Jess Winemiller (Dallastown/York) and twice more after hoops from Ashcraft. The final time was with 1:20 remaining, but the Eagles were unable to convert during that time, and Alma drilled three free throws to seal the win. Juniata was also within a point midway through the first half before Alma went on a 10-2 run to open their largest lead at 21-12 with 3:45 remaining in the half. The Scots led 28-20 before Ali Meckey (Bishop Carroll/Ebensburg) scored a lay-up and Winemiller nailed a jumper from the wing to cut the lead to 28-25 at intermission. Ascraft scored in double figures for the fifth consecutive game by shooting 9-16 from the floor. Winemiller added 15 points, and both players grabbed six rebounds. Claudia McDowell (Juniata Valley/Alexandria) and Courtney Callas (Freeport/Sarver) each also had six rebounds, while Callas also passed out four assists to lead the team. Juniata was able to hang in the game despite shooting just 29 percent from the field. Ashley Matuzak led Alma with 12 points in the game, while also pulling down eight rebounds. Way chipped in 11 points in the win. Emily Niemi led all players with 10 rebounds in the contest and Heather Keenan passed out four assists. Juniata will now play in the tournament\'s consolation game on Saturday afternoon. ###

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