(Posted November 24, 2010)

ALTOONA, Pa. -- Juniata College men's basketball did two things that Penn State Altoona didn't do when the two schools hooked up Saturday afternoon at Adler Gym.

The Eagles shot the ball really well, shooting better than 48 percent from the floor. They did an even better job of taking care of the ball while working to get those shots, committing just 11 turnovers.

The result was a 62-54 Juniata win over Penn State Altoona, allowing the Eagles to even their season record at 2-2.

Juniata was paced by junior guard Dan Sekulski (Douglassville, Pa./Daniel Boone) and freshman forward Brian Scholly (State College, Pa./State College Area) with 12 points each. Sekulski dished out eight assists for the Eagles, while Scholly connected on two of Juniata's four 3-pointers. Sophomore guard Alex Raymond (Hollidaysburg, Pa./Altoona Area) and senior forward Bruce Knowles (Duncannon, Pa./Susquenita) chipped in with nine points apiece.

The Lions (0-4) committed 17 turnovers producing 25 points for the Eagles, while Penn State Altoona produced just 11 points off Juniata 11 giveaways. The Eagles were 26-of-54 from the field, outshooting a Lions squad that was 18-of-43 from the floor.

The game was far from a walk-over for Juniata, however. The Eagles watched a double-digit lead vanish with a late-first half Lions rally, then had to survive a neck-and-neck battle in the second half.

Juniata went on a lengthy 12-2 run midway through the first half, breaking open what had been a two-possession game at the 15-minute mark and grabbing a 24-10 advantage with 8:25 showing on the clock. Sekulski and Austin Ankney (Somerset, Pa./Somerset) each scored four points during the run.

After a layup by Altoona's Chase McGowan, Juniata freshman guard Jeremy Hays (McMechen, W.Va./John Marshall) had both a 3-pointer and a traditional 3-point play in the span of 40 seconds. That gave the Eagles a 30-12 lead with 7:06 remaining in the first half.

Juniata would score just once more over the remainder of the first half, as Penn State Altoona scored 16 points to take a 30-28 lead. The Eagles' Pat Cassidy (Hollidaysburg, Pa./Hollidaysburg) made a layup in the final second to give Juniata a four-point lead heading into the locker room.

After leading wire-to-wire in the first half, Juniata traded the lead back-and-forth with Altoona four times in the second half in the second stanza.

The Lions held a 50-49 lead with 5:56 remaining, following a layup by Altoona's Kyle Banfield. Juniata regained the lead on a Sekulski jumper just over a minute later, and added to its advantage with a bucket by Raymond and another by Sekulski to stretch Juniata's lead to 55-50 with 2:19 showing.

A pair of Banfield free throws cut Juniata's lead to three points, but Raymond answered with a trey with 41 seconds to play to put the Eagles in command of the game. Banfield's layup with 20 seconds left was too little, too late for the Lions, and a pair of Raymond free throws followed by a Sekulski layup clinched the Juniata win.

Kirk Peters led Penn State Altoona with a game-high 23 points, while Banfield tallied 16 points in the losing effort. The Lions out-rebounded the Eagles 29-21, and were 18-of-23 at the free throw line on Juniata's 19 fouls.

Juniata returns to the hardwood on Saturday, Nov. 27, when it travels to Latrobe, Pa., to face Saint Vincent College. Tip-off is scheduled for 8:00 p.m.


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