(Posted January 7, 2007)

STEVENSON, Md. - In its win over Villa Julie in the first day of the Legg Mason Winter Classic on Saturday, the Juniata women\'s basketball team rode a dominating defensive effort in the first half to claim the win. On Sunday Juniata had the tables turned as the Eagles could not overcome first half offensive troubles, as despite a torrid comeback, they fell to Albright College 59-50 in the tournament championship game. Juniata fell to 10-3 with the loss while Albright is now 8-5. Juniata had three players score in double figures, including Jess Winemiller who had 12 points and was named to the All-Tournament Team, but the Eagles never recovered from a first half in which the team scored just 16 points and shot 18 percent from the field. Albright raced out to a nine-point lead in the first six minutes of the game, before a pair of hoops from Winemiller pulled Juniata back within four. The lead remained in single figures for the rest of the half, until the Eagles were held scoreless over the final 5:51 of the half as Albright took a 12-point edge into the locker room. The Eagles were then forced to come from way behind as Albright used a 13-2 run to take a 41-20 lead with 12:35 remaining in the game. Jacqueline Hardwick scored seven points during the run to help build the lead for the Lions. From there Juniata slowly chipped away at the lead as a three from Mindy Werner (West York/York) halted the run. Another Werner three and a basket from Kelly Rotan (Hammonton/Acton, N.J.) cut the lead to 13 with 10:26 remaining. It was still at 13 with 8:34 left, but Juniata put together a 9-1 run, capped by a Claudia McDowell (Juniata Valley/Alexandria) basket that brought Juniata within five at 5:12 remaining. The teams traded free throws on the next trips before tournament MVP Annie McMahon pushed the lead back to seven with 4:02 left. Winemiller answered with a hoop to bring Juniata back within five, but Albright would get a lay-up from Charlotte Ciccone and six free throws in the final 1:30 to seal the win. Werner matched Winemiller as she scored a season-high 12 points, and McDowell was also in double figures with 10. McDowell also led the Eagles with nine rebounds, six assists and five steals. McMahon finished with a game-high 18 points and grabbed eight rebounds for Albright. Marie Levins also added nine points for the Lions who outscored Juniata 19-8 from the foul line in the game. Juniata will be back in action on Wednesday when the Eagles resume conference play with a game at Susquehanna. ###

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