(Posted February 24, 2010)

SCRANTON, Pa. -- Juniata College's late-in-the-game charge couldn't overcome the 18-point lead it spotted the University of Scranton earlier in the second half, and the Eagles dropped a 70-62 decision to the host Royals in Wednesday evening's Landmark Conference Women's Basketball Tournament at the Long Center.

The loss ends Juniata's season - for the time being. The Eagles (15-11) are still a candidate for the eight-team ECAC Division III South Region Tournament, which Juniata won last season as the eight seed.

The field for the ECAC South Region tourney will be announced late on Monday, March 1, after the announcement of the NCAA Division III Women's Basketball Championship bracket.

Juniata trailed by eight points, 38-30, at halftime of Wednesday's semifinal against Scranton, led by senior Kelly Rotan's (Atco, N.J./Hammonton) 11-point effort in the first half. Scranton stretched its lead to as much as 18 points, 56-38, with 11:37 to play, following a 7-0 run by the Royals that included a layup and 3-pointer by Jennifer King.

Juniata stayed within striking distance of Scranton for the next six minutes of the second half, helped along by a pair of 3-pointers by Natalie Glinsky (Indiana, Pa./Indiana) and two layups by Jen Hnatuck (Mechanicsburg, Pa./Trinity). Scranton still held a 62-50 advantage with 5:48 showing on the clock.

Another Glinsky trey cut the margin to nine points. A Glinsky jumper, pulling Juniata to within four of the Royals, 62-58, with 3:14 remaining, trailed a traditional 3-point play by Hnatuck.

Scranton's Megan Kopecki and Juniata's Alyssia Gordon (Spring Grove, Pa./Spring Grove) traded layups, keeping the Eagles within four of the Royals. King's layup with 1:33 remaining put Scranton back up by six, but a foul by the Royals' Courtney Roselle put Ashton Bankos (York, Pa./York Catholic) on the line for two free throws - which she converted, pulling the Eagles back to within four points, 66-62, with 41 seconds in regulation.

With time running out, Juniata began fouling to force Scranton to defend its lead at the free-throw line. Katherine Torto was 4-for-4 at the charity stripe for Scranton in the final 30 seconds of play, while last-ditch field goal attempts by Jordan Speck (Huntingdon, Pa./Southern Huntingdon) and Bankos failed to fall.

Hnatuck led the Eagles with 19 points, 17 of which were in the second half, on 6-of-12 shooting from the field and a 7-of-7 mark at the at the line. Glinsky finished with 11 points including three 3-pointers. Bankos had seven points, and logged three steals. Rotan was unable to add to her first-half scoring total, and finished with 11 points.

Scranton had four players in double figures, led by King and Kopecki with 18 points each. Roselle chipped in with 13 points and 10 rebounds, while Sarah Gage added 10 points off the bench. Ryan Mooney dished out 14 assists for the Royals, matching a single game high in all of Division III women's basketball this season.


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