(Posted November 27, 2010)

LATROBE, Pa. -- Saint Vincent guard B.J. McGill's free throw with 1.7 seconds left on the clock lifted the host Bearcats to a 72-71 win over Juniata College, Saturday night at the Carey Center.

Juniata (2-3) rallied from a three-point halftime deficit, and held a 68-65 deficit with 00:45 left on the clock, after layups by freshman guard Jeremy Hays (McMechen, W.Va./John Marshall) and junior center Austin Ankney (Somerset, Pa./Somerset). Hays was fouled on his layup, but missed the "and one" foul shot; Ankney swooped in and put back the rebound to put the Eagles in front by three points.

A second-chance layup by Saint Vincent's Isaac Turner brought the Bearcats back to within one, but Bearcat guard Nic Martin fouled Juniata's Alex Raymond (Hollidaysburg, Pa./Altoona Area) with 19 seconds remaining. Raymond sank both free throws, putting the Eagles back in front by three.

Another second-chance layup by SVC's Grant Latus again brought the Bearcats back to within two, and Raymond was fouled on Juniata's subsequent possession and sent to the line to defend the Eagles' lead.

This time, Raymond hit just the second of his two shots, leaving Juniata with a two-point lead, 71-69, with 8.3 seconds remaining in regulation.

McGill drove the lane and made the layup, drawing contact from senior forward Bruce Knowles (Duncannon, Pa./Susquenita) in the process. Knowles' in-bounds pass attempt after the McGill free throw was batted up in the air by Saint Vincent's Dillon Stith, allowing the Bearcats to win the nail-biter.

Juniata displayed a balanced offense against Saint Vincent. Hays registered 14 points off the bench, and led a contingent of five Eagles who scored in double figures. Starting forward Dan Sekulski (Douglassville, Pa./Daniel Boone) finished with 13 points, while Ankney had 12 to go with a team-high six rebounds. Raymond and freshman forward Brian Scholly (State College, Pa./State College Area) tallied 10 points each.

The Eagles held a 40 to 38 advantage in rebounds, but dominated the offensive glass with 17 offensive boards. Juniata committed just eight turnovers, but forced the Bearcats into 13 giveaways leading to 16 points for the Eagles.

Saint Vincent and Juniata played a neck-and-neck contest in the first half with five ties and four lead changes. Neither team was able to build more than a two-possession lead, with Juniata reaching a three-point lead, 19-16, at the 4:46 mark of the first half following a jumper by Hays. The Bearcats answered with a 7-0 run to regain the lead, and briefly had a five-point advantage with 2:56 remaining, 26-21, after a Turner 3-pointer.

A 7-1 Bearcat run to open the second half put Saint Vincent in front 37-28, but a jumper by Raymond and a Scholly trey quickly reeled in the Bearcats. SVC extended its lead to nine points, 47-38, thanks to a conventional 3-point play and follow-up layup by McGill.

Juniata responded with a 12-2 run, capped by a pair of Tim Berguson (Mansfield, Pa./Mansfield) layups sandwiched around a Scholly bucket, that left the Eagles with a 49-48 lead with 9:53 showing on the second-half clock. The game reverted to being a see-saw contest the rest of the way, with two ties and two lead changes prior to the final minute.

Saint Vincent was paced by Turner with 25 points, while McGill finished with 14 points and a game-high seven rebounds and six assists. Latus had 10 points with seven blocks.

Juniata returns home on Monday, Nov. 29, to host Dickinson College at the Kennedy Sports + Recreation Center. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.


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