(Posted February 7, 2009)

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Three Eagles scored in double-figures to lead Juniata College women's basketball to a 61-47 win over Catholic University on Saturday, giving Juniata a season sweep of the Cardinals and keeping the Eagles in the thick of the battle for the final two spots in the Landmark Conference tournament.

The win puts Juniata (11-10, 5-5 Landmark) in a four-way tie for third-place in the Landmark Conference standings, with only four regular season games remaining. The Eagles are tied with Susquehanna, Catholic, and Merchant Marine, all with 5-5 records.

Senior Kelly Ashcraft (Bellefonte, Pa./State College Area) paced the Eagles with 15 points, while senior Claudia McDowell (Alexandria, Pa./Juniata Valley) chipped in with 13 points. Newcomer Ashton Bankos (York, Pa./York Catholic) tallied 10 points to go with her four steals.

Catholic (12-9, 5-5 Landmark) was led offensively by Brianna Peterson's 22 points, with Kaitlyn O'Keefe tacking on another 10 points.

Juniata thoroughly dominated Catholic on the boards with a 45-29 rebounding advantage. The Eagles had a 13-7 edge on the offensive glass, which Juniata parlayed into 14 second-chance points.

The Cardinals held the lead only once in the game, when Kerri Confrey scored the game's first points with her layup at the 18:19 mark of the opening half. McDowell knotted the game with a bucket 20 seconds later, and an Ashcraft layup with 17:10 remaining gave the Eagles a lead they would hold the rest of the way.

Juniata would score twice more before Catholic would answer, part of Juniata's 15-4 run to open the game. An 8-0 run by the Cardinals late in the first half would briefly bring Catholic to within five points of Juniata, but a layup and free throw by McDowell and a Bankos trey in the final two minutes of the half sent the Eagles into the locker room at the break with a 29-18 lead.

The Eagles dominated play in the second half, and pushed their lead to 16 points for much of the final three minutes of the game.

Juniata wraps-up its final Landmark road trip of the season on Sunday afternoon when it faces Goucher College at 2:00 p.m. in Towson, Md.


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