(Posted January 8, 2008)

ELIZABETHTOWN, Pa. - The Juniata College women's basketball fought back a second half Blue Jay rally and posted a 63-57 win over former Commonwealth Conference-rival Elizabethtown College, Tuesday night in Elizabethtown, Pa.

The Eagles (7-5) held a 12-point lead, 45-33, with 8:56 remaining in the game following a pair of converted free throws by Jen Hnatuck (Mechanicsburg, Pa./Trinity). After the Eagles and the Blue Jays traded layups, Elizabethtown began chiseling away at the Juniata.

A 10-0 run by the Blue Jays left Juniata holding a two-point advantage, 47-45, until Kelly Rotan's (Atco, N.J./Hammonton) layup with 4:50 on the clock ended the Eagle scoring drought. A layup and free throw by Kelly Ashcraft (Bellefonte, Pa./State College) stretched the Juniata lead to seven points by the 3:06 mark, and the Eagles maintained at least a two possession advantage virtually the rest of the way.

Elizabethtown (6-4) tried to fuel a come-back attempt by fouling, but the Eagles went 9-of-10 at the free-throw line over the final minute to defend their lead. For the game, Juniata shot a season-high 86.4% at the charity stripe, converting 19-of-22 free-throw attempts.

Juniata trailed 25-23 at the intermission, before a 9-0 run early in the second half helped vault the Eagles into a 10-point lead, 37-27 at the 16:10 mark of the half.

Ashcraft paced the Eagles offensively with 18 points on 7-of-10 shooting from the field and a 4-of-5 effort at the free-throw line. Claudia McDowell (Alexandria, Pa./Juniata Valley) tallied 15 points, and Hnatuck finished with 12. Ali Meckey (Ebensburg, Pa./Bishop Carroll) dished out six assists, while Ashcraft and McDowell logged three steals each.

Elizabethtown was led by Megan Quinn and Megan Romano with 14 and 13 points respectively.

Turnovers were an issue on both sides, with E-town committing 31 turnovers to Juniata's 28. The Eagles were able to take better advantage of the Blue Jay miscues, racking up 34 points-off-turnovers compared to 19 for Elizabethtown.
The Elizabethtown game was Juniata's last regular season contest outside the Landmark Conference loop; the Eagles resume conference play this Friday, Jan. 11, when they host Moravian College at 5:30 p.m. at the Kennedy Sports + Recreation Center. Juniata will host the University of Scranton in another Landmark matchup on Saturday, Jan. 12.


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