(Posted December 9, 2008)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- Juniata College built a huge first half lead and then held on for the victory on its way to a 71-51 win over Franklin & Marshall College, in women's basketball action Tuesday night in Lancaster, Pa.

Juniata (4-5) opened the game with an 8-2 run and had a double-digit lead well before the 10-minute mark of the opening half, eventually heading to the locker room at the intermission with a 40-15 lead.

The Eagles shot 48.4% (15-31) from the floor in the opening 20 minutes of play; they were paced by senior guard Claudia McDowell's (Alexandria, Pa./Juniata Valley) 4-of-6 shooting effort on her way to 10 points in the half, while senior guard Gina Piccolini (Indiana, Pa./Indiana) was 2-of-3 from three-point range. Juniata forced F&M into 10 turnovers in the first half alone, which resulted in 16 points for the Eagles.

F&M outscored Juniata slightly in the second half, but never seriously threatened the Eagles' lead. The Diplomats briefly cut the margin to 16 points, 46-30 with 13:31 remaining in the second half, but six straight points for the Eagles quickly stretched the Juniata lead back over 20 points.

Three Eagles finished in double figures, led by McDowell with 12 points with six assists. Senior forward Kelly Ashcraft (Bellefonte, Pa./State College Area) and Piccolini each chipped in with 11 points.

Franklin & Marshall (3-3) was led by Sarah Meisenberg with 17 points, with Casey Downie tacking on another 10 points. The Diplomats finished the night with 19 turnovers, which yielded 28 points for Juniata.

The Eagles will have nine days off for final exams, before returning to action on Thursday, Nov. 18, when they travel to Grantham, Pa., to face Messiah College


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