(Posted March 3, 2010)

DOYLESTOWN, Pa. -- Juniata College freshman Alyssia Gordon's (Spring Grove, Pa./Spring Grove) jumper with six seconds remaining lifted the eighth-seeded Eagles to a 67-65 victory over number one-seed Delaware Valley College, in Wednesday night's quarterfinal of the ECAC Division III South Region Women's Basketball Tournament at the James Work Gymnasium.

Gordon's bucket and the Juniata win sends the Eagles (16-11) to the ECAC South tourney semifinals against fourth seed Widener University on Saturday, March 6, at Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, Pa.

Juniata had to fight off a late DelVal rally to post the win over the Aggies, after leading by as many as 11 points with well under 10 minutes left in the second half.

The Eagles' 54-43 lead vanished after the Aggies went on an 8-0 run over a two minute span, and trailed 54-51 with 5:56 left on the clock. Freshman guard Paige Robertson (Altoona, Pa./Altoona Area) ended Juniata's scoring drought with her layup at the 5:20 mark.

Delaware Valley (17-10) stayed within two possessions of Juniata, finally pulling to within one of the Eagles with 2:11 remaining on Brittney Zimmerman's layup to make the score 62-61. Sophomore Brittany Danel (Stoystown, Pa./North Star) got Juniata out of immediate danger with a timely 3-pointer on the Eagles' next possession. Danel was fouled on the trey and was unable to complete the rare four-point play â?" but DelVal was forced to call timeout to regroup.

After a failed layup by DelVal's Brittany Battinieri and a missed trey by Ashton Bankos (York, Pa./York Catholic), Juniata still had a 65-61 lead with the clock approaching one minute remaining. DVC's Jackie Shunkwiler drained a pair of free throws after getting fouled by Gordon, and Kim Vennera tied the game at 65-65 on a layup with 20 seconds showing on the clock.

After a timeout to draw up a play for the final shot, Bankos drove the lane and drew two Aggie defenders. That left Gordon wide open on the baseline to receive the kick-out pass from Bankos, and Gordon drained it to give the Eagles the lead.

Battinieri had time for one game-tying shot for DelVal, but her jumper rimmed out to give Juniata the win.

Juniata offered it's best top-to-bottom offensive effort of the season in besting Delaware Valley. All ten players scored, led by freshman Natalie Glinsky (Indiana, Pa./Indiana) with nine points off the bench. Three other players â?" Danel, Erin McGinley (Ashland, Pa./Tri-Valley) and Jen Hnatuck (Mechanicsburg, Pa./Trinity) -- finished with eight points, while four others tallied six points.

Bankos finished with five points, as did senior forward Kelly Rotan (Atco, N.J./Hammonton), but Rotan hauled down a team high 10 rebounds and Bankos dished out four assists with two steals. Robertson also handed off four assists. The Eagles got 35 of their 67 points from their reserves, and 16 of their 44 rebounds.

Juniata knocked down 12 of its 36 3-point attempts (.333), and shot 38.2 percent (26-68) from the field. Defensively, the Eagles held the Aggies to just 35.0 percent (21-60) from the floor and 4-of-14 from beyond the arc. DelVal's free throw shooting kept the game close, as the Aggies were 19-of-25 (.760) from the charity stripe on Juniata's 20 personal fouls.

DVC had four players in double-digits and two with double-doubles, led by Battinieri's 18 points. Vennera and Emily Soper had 17 and 14 points respectively, and each grabbed 10 rebounds. Vennera also logged seven steals on the night. Zimmerman rounded out the Aggie scoring leaders with 10 points.

The loss was Delaware Valley's first defeat on its home court this season.

The win marked the second year in a row that Juniata has gone into the ECAC South Tournament as an eight seed, and downed the number one seed in the opening game. Last season, Juniata bounced Albright College out of the tournament, 77-56, before moving on to beat Alvernia University and Wesley College (Del.) on its way to the ECAC South title.

Second-seeded Saint Vincent earned the right to host the semifinals and finals of the ECAC South Tournament, after defeating seventh seed Pitt-Greensburg, 81-71. The Bearcats will face sixth seed Alvernia University in Saturday's first semifinal at 5:30 p.m., after the Crusaders upended third seed Wesley, 80-70, in Dover, Delaware.

Juniata will face Widener in the second semifinal at 7:30 p.m. Widener earned its slot in the semifinals with a 77-51 win over fifth seed Gwynedd-Mercy College.

The winners of the Juniata-Widener and Saint Vincent-Alvernia semifinals will meet in Sunday's championship game in Latrobe.

ECAC Division III South Region WBB Tournament - semifinal matchups

Semifinals - Saturday, March 6 at St. Vincent (Latrobe, Pa.)
No. 8 Juniata vs. No. 4 Widener, 7:30 p.m.
No. 2 St. Vincent vs. No. 6 Alvernia, 5:30 p.m.

Championship - Sunday, March 7 at St. Vincent (Latrobe, Pa.)
Two Semifinal Winners, TBA


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