(Posted January 17, 2007)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. - Sophomores Kelly Ashcraft (State College/Bellefonte) and Steph Hatch (Bellwood-Antis/Bellwood) each produced career highs as Juniata halted a three-game losing streak with a 76-64 victory over Elizabethtown College in Commonwealth Conference action in Huntingdon Wednesday night. Ashcraft matched her career best with 20 points and also matched a career high with 13 rebounds, while Hatch came off the bench to score 18 points, including five during a pivotal stretch late in the second half. Juniata (11-5, 2-3 Commonwealth) led by as many as 16 points in the second half but a lay-up from Elizabethown\'s Audrey Hitz followed by a three pointer from Mell Fitzpatrick brought the visitors to within five with 4:55 remaining. Juniata responded by getting a three from Gina Piccolini (Indiana/Indiana) and then after forcing a turnover, Hatch knocked down her fourth three of the game to push the lead back to 11. Hatch followed another Elizabethtown turnover with a hoop to make the lead 13 points with 2:43 remaining to put the lead out of reach. Erin Walton scored a game-high 22 points for Elizabethtown (7-6, 1-4 Commonwealth) which dropped its third-consecutive conference game. Elizabethtown came out sharp to start the game as the Blue Jays built a comfortable eight-point after a Jenn Montague hoop with 7:51 remaining in the first stanza. But the Eagles closed the half on a run, as they outscored the visitors 24-6 over the final seven minutes of the half to take a 10-point lead into halftime. Elizabethtown pulled within seven in the early part of the second half but a lay-up from Ashcraft and back-to-back threes from Hatch powered an 11-2 run that pushed Juniata\'s edge to 16 with 14:58 remaining. The Blue Jays rallied back to within seven points on two occasions, but Juniata countered with an Ashcraft hoop to get the lead back to 10 before the visitor\'s final push. Ashcraft shot 7-of-9 from the floor and 6-of-7 from the line for her 20 points. Hatch was 7-for-10 from the field, including hitting four of her six three-point attempts. Courtney Callas (Freeport/Sarver) added 14 points off the bench for the Blue and Gold, while Jess Winemiller (Dallastown/York) also recorded a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds. Claudia McDowell (Juniata Valley/Alexandria) led all players with seven assists in the game. Megan Quinn was the only other Blue Jay in double figures as she produced 10 points in the contest. Hitz paced Elizabethtown with six rebounds, while Fitzpatrick and Megan Romano each had three assists. Juniata returns to action Saturday when the Eagles host Commonwealth foe Albright College. ###

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