(Posted December 7, 2007)

GRANTHAM, Pa. - Sophomore Jeff Berkey (Stoystown, Pa./Shanksville-Stonycreek) drained a three-pointer - his only field goal of the night - with 3.1 seconds on the clock to lift the Juniata College men's basketball team to an 88-85 win over Manhattanville College, in Friday night's opening game of Messiah College's Falcon Alumni/Hampton Inn Invitational in Grantham, Pa. The Eagles led by as many as eight points, 48-40, early in the second half. Manhattanville slowly chipped away at the Juniata lead, eventually catching Juniata at the 11:36 mark of the second half on Wesly Wicks' layup that put the Valiants in front 62-61. There would be nine lead changes and nine ties from that point on, as neither team could build - or even sustain - a lead. Tied at 83-83 heading into the final minute, Manhattanville pulled ahead on a Lamar Glass jumper with :40 remaining on the clock. A pair of Brian Cannon (Fallston, Md./Fallston) free throws with 18 seconds left tied the game and gave possession to the Valiants, but Manhattanville's Cody Moffett missed a layup at the other end of the floor - setting the stage of Berkey's heroics. Cannon led the Eagles with team-highs of 23 points and eight rebounds, while senior Kyle Opitz (Gibsonia, Pa./Pine Richland) had 21 points behind a 5-of-5 shooting performance from beyond the arc, to go with five assists. Brent Ferko (Sarver, Pa./Freeport) added 20 points, while Eric Mueseler (Latrobe, Pa./Latrobe) chipped in with 12 points. Juniata (4-4, 0-1 Landmark) will advance to Saturday's championship game of the Falcon Alumni/Hampton Inn Invitational at 3:00 p.m., against either the host Messiah College . Messiah advanced with a 93-52 win over Penn State-Harrisburg. -30-

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Contact April Feagley at feaglea@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3131 for more information.