Late Rally Stops Ladies Hoops
(Posted February 6, 2007)
ELIZABETHTOWN, Pa. - The Juniata College women\'s basketball team held the lead for nearly all of its Commonwealth Conference clash at Elizabethtown College, but the home team scored seven of the game\'s final nine points to hand the Eagles a 62-57 set-back Tuesday night. Jess Winemiller (Dallastown/York) recorded a double-double with 18 points and 12 rebounds, but it wasn\'t enough to help Juniata (13-9, 4-7 Commonwealth) pull out a victory in a back-and-forth game. The second half saw 10 ties and eight lead changes, with all of the lead changes coming in the final 6:14 of the game. Neither team held a lead of more six points in the final six minutes. After a free throw from Erin Walton gave Elizabethtown (11-9, 4-7 Commonwealth) a two-point lead with 2:54 remaining, Juniata took its final lead when Ali Meckey (Bishop Carroll/Ebensburg) drained a three with 2:17 left on the clock. Elizabethtown moved back in front with a hoop from Walton and one free throw from Audrey Hitz gave the Blue Jays a two-point cushion with 1:16 remaining. Juniata\'s Steph Hatch (Bellwood-Antis/Bellwood) responded by sinking two free throws a few seconds later to tie the score at 55 with 1:15 remaining. But from there it was all Elizabethtown as Megan Quinn sank a three on the next possession. After an empty trip for the Eagles, the Blue Jays eventually pushed the lead to six at the foul line. A late basket from Claudia McDowell (Juniata Valley/Alexandria) was not enough to make up the deficit. Walton led all players with 22 points for the Blue Jays who moved into a tie with Juniata in fifth place in the conference standings, a half game behind both Susquehanna University and Lebanon Valley College which both play Wednesday night. Juniata seemed to be in control for most of the contest as they led by as many as 13 points in the first half. The Eagles shots 33 percent from the field in the first half, and built up a big lead by forcing 18 Blue Jays turnovers in the first stanza. The Blue and Gold started just as quickly in the second half as the Eagles scored the first six points of the half to build an 11-point edge with 16:56 to go in the game. Elizabethtown answered with an 11-2 run of its own to pull within two points and set up the nip-and-tuck finish. Winemiller\'s double-double was her second of the season, and the 18 points were her second-highest total of the year. Kelly Ashcraft (State College/Bellefonte) added 13 points for the Eagles. Juniata shot just 33 percent from the field but went 19-of-21 from the foul line to stay in the game. Walton was 6-of-18 from the floor and 9-of-13 from the foul line in the contest. Quinn finished with 14 points for the Blue Jays who scored 44 points on 44 percent shooting in the second half to spur their comeback. Hitz grabbed nine rebounds to pace the home team with Megan Romano adding four assists. Juniata returns to action Saturday with a critical conference game at home against Lebanon Valley. ###
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