(Posted January 3, 2009)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- The Juniata College women's basketball team used a 16-3 run late in the first half to grab a commanding lead and cruise to an 82-67 win over Milligan College (Tenn.), in Saturday's first round of the Juniata Holiday Invitational in Huntingdon, Pa.

The Eagles (5-6) will face Geneseo State in Sunday's championship game at 3:00 p.m., while Milligan (7-7) will play North Carolina Wesleyan in the consolation contest at 1:00 p.m. Geneseo State downed N.C. Wesleyan 65-51 in Saturday's other first round matchup.

Ashton Bankos (York, Pa./York Catholic) kick-started the run with her three-pointer to widen the Eagle lead to 20-16 with 8:32 remaining in the opening half. Six different Juniata players contributed to the run, with Claudia McDowell (Alexandria, Pa./Juniata Valley) also draining a three-pointer.

Juniata went into the locker room at halftime with a 42-27 advantage, and opened the second half with a trey by Brittany Ryder (Lancaster, Pa./Lancaster Catholic).

Jen Hnatuck (Mechanicsburg, Pa./Trinity) led the Eagles with 21 points on 9-of-11 shooting from the floor, while Ryder finished with a season-high 14 points. Kelly Ashcraft (Bellefonte, Pa./State College Area) hauled down nine rebounds while dishing out four assists.

Milligan was paced by Heather Mandela with a game-high 28 points and nine rebounds, with Ashlee Price chipping in with 10 points.


In Saturday's other first round game, Geneseo State's Kate Jaffie tallied 22 points with 11 rebounds while Bri Dunton added 18 points to lead the Blue Knights to a 65-51 win over North Carolina Wesleyan.

Geneseo State (2-6) shot 46.2% (24-52) from the field, while holding N.C. Wesleyan (1-4) to just 29.5% (18-61) shooting.

The Blue Knights went on a 15-2 run in the latter part of the second half, breaking open a 45-44 game to eventually finish with a 60-46 lead with 3:01 showing on the clock. Jaffie scored eight points during the Geneseo State run, including a pair of three-pointers.

Essence Chamber led the Battling Bishops with 18 points, while T'Keya Holloway pulled in seven rebounds.


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