(Posted November 12, 2008)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- The Juniata College women's basketball team has been picked to finish third in the Landmark Conference in 2008-09, according to preseason voting of the league's head coaches and sports information directors.

The Eagles tallied 73 points in the poll, closely behind top pick Moravian College with 10 points and the University of Scranton with 79 points.

Catholic University was picked fourth with 51 points, followed by the United States Merchant Marine Academy (48 pts.), Susquehanna University (47 pts.), Drew University (24 pts.), and Goucher College (15 pts.).

Juniata finished 18-10 last season with a 10-4 conference mark, reaching the Landmark Conference Tournament championship game where it fell 52-50 to Scranton. The Eagles received a Pool B at-large bid to the NCAA Division III Women's Basketball Championship, where they dropped a 76-47 decision to #1-ranked Hope College in the first round.

The Eagles return a trio of All-Landmark Conference selections in senior guard Claudia McDowell (Alexandria, Pa./Juniata Valley), senior forward Kelly Ashcraft (Bellefonte, Pa./State College Area), and sophomore forward Jen Hnatuck (Mechanicsburg, Pa./Trinity). All three averaged in double figures last season for the Eagles, led by Ashcraft with 13.3 points per game.

Juniata opens its 2008-09 season on Saturday, Nov. 15, when it faces Gwynedd Mercy College in Gwynedd, Pa..

Women's Basketball Preseason Poll

1. Moravian College (83 pts.)
2. University of Scranton (79 pts.)
3. Juniata College (73 pts.)
4. Catholic University (51 pts.)
5. United States Merchant Marine Academy (48 pts.)
6. Susquehanna University (47 pts.)
7. Drew University (24 pts.)
8. Goucher College (15 pts.)


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