(Posted December 10, 2010)

GRANTHAM, Pa. -- Juniata College men's basketball came close to catching up at times, but Valley Forge Christian's second half run left the Eagles with a 53-68 deficit, Friday night in Brubaker Auditorium at Messiah College.

The game was not looking promising for the Eagles as the Patriots went on a 14-point run in the first five minutes, however the Eagles chased the Patriots down in the end of the first half, to only trail by two with five minutes left.

Juniata hung with Valley Forge Christian until about five minutes into the second half when the Patriots gained a nine-point lead. The Patriots defense kept Juniata at 37 points for almost five minutes and ran away with the lead for the rest of the game. They lead by 22 with 7:47 left on the clock.

Off the tip-off Valley Forge Christian's (8-3) Latrell Alford drained a 3-pointer while Juniata (4-5) missed two shots. Freshman forward Brian Scholly (State College, Pa./State College Area) was the first to sink a jumper for the Eagles two minutes in.

The Patriots held the Eagles at two points as they went on a 14-point run in the first five minutes. Starting forward Dan Sekulski (Douglassville, Pa./Daniel Boone) finally broke the seal again for Juniata with a layup with 14:17 on the clock.

Juniata started finding a rhythm with ten minutes left in the first half as they closed the scoring gap to 16-23. Alex Raymond (Hollidaysburg, Pa./Altoona Area) finished two free-throws and freshman guard Jeremy Hays (McMechen, W.Va./John Marshall) finished a layup off senior forward Bruce Knowles' (Duncannon, Pa./Susquenita) offensive rebound. Nick Pappas (Slatington, Pa./Northern Lehigh) hit a free throw shot after Hays grabbed a steal.

The Eagles picked up the pace and chased the Patriots all the way to the end of the first half. They only trailed the Patriots 34-31 at the end of the first half.

Hays was the only Eagle to score in the double digits for Juniata with 11 points, 4-for-8 from the floor. Knowles collected a team high of six rebounds for the Eagles. Latrell Alford scored 17 points for Valley Forge Christian, while Justin Kinsey grabbed 11 rebounds.

The Patriots held a 42 to 29 advantage in rebounds and dominated the offensive and defensive glass. The Eagles edged the Patriots in turnovers, 22-27. The Eagles shot a disappointing 0-for-8 from behind the arc, and made 20-of-53 field goals.

Juniata will remain at Messiah College to play tomorrow at 1:00 against the winner of the Messiah versus Medgar Evers College game held at 7:30 p.m. Friday evening.


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