Eagle Men Claim First Conference Win
(Posted January 13, 2007)
BETHLEHEM, Pa. - Junior forward Brian Cannon (Fallston/Fallston, Md.) scored 19 points and added 12 rebounds and Juniata shot 13 of 14 from the foul line in the second half to stave off a Moravian College comeback and earn an 80-76 win in Commonwealth Conference action Saturday afternoon in Bethlehem. Juniata (7-8, 1-3 Commonwealth) never trailed in the second half but saw the home team come within one point on two occasions, and cut the deficit to two six times in the second half. After Juniata had pulled to an eight-point lead with 5:18 remaining, Moravian (8-7, 1-3 Commonwealth) slowly chipped away at the lead, finally pulling within two on a three from Eric Whitman with 2:21 remaining. Kyle Opitz (Pine-Richland/Gibsonia) responded with a lay-up for Juniata, but Moravian came right back with a jumper from Kyle Miller with 1:22 on the clock. After a Chris Jasiota (Oil City/Oil City) bucket pushed the lead back to four, Mark Franzyshen sank a pair of free throws for the Greyhounds on their next trip to cut the lead to two once again. After getting the ball back Moravian had three shots to tie the score before Juniata got the defensive rebound. Opitz sank a pair of free throws with 11 seconds remaining to push the lead to four, and after a jumper from Miller cut the lead to two for the final time with seven seconds left, Aaron Chamberlain (Tussey Mountain/Wood) drilled two from the foul line to seal the game. Juniata shot 87 percent (27-31) from the foul line for the game, including hitting 13-of-14 in the second half. Whitman led five Moravian players in double figures with 20 points in the contest as he was 6-of-13 from the field and hit four of his seven three-point attempts. Juniata led most of the way as a three from Nick Hager (Franklin/Franklin) sparked a 17-2 run that put Juniata in front by 16 with 11:23 remaining in the half. Moravian slowly chipped away, getting as close as four with 1:52 remaining in the half before Jasiota ended the half with a pair of field goals to give the Eagles a eight-point edge at intermission. The lead grew to nine in the early stages of the half, but Moravian quickly pulled within a point on a hoop from Michael Clemente. Moravian had another chance to tie the game up after Greg Jones made a hoop and was fouled with 8:14 remaining. Jones then missed the free throw, and Cannon scored seven-straight points to give Juniata another eight point lead before the dramatic finish. Opitz was a perfect 10-for-10 at the foul line and added 14 points for Juniata. Jasiota, Neil Holloway (Tussey Mountain/Saxton) and Brent Ferko (Freeport/Sarver) added 12, 11 and 10 respectively four the Eagles. Moravian had Steve Wenderfer, Miller and Franzyshen all finish with 11 points, while Chris Earley added 10. Whitman also paced the Greyhounds with eight rebounds. Juniata will host Elizabethtown in another conference game on Tuesday night.
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