Scholly’s season high 18 points leads Juniata past Scranton, 82-59

HUNTINGDON, Pa. – Juniata College men's basketball outperformed the University of Scranton from the floor, on the boards, and at the free-throw line as the Eagles handed the Royals an 82-59 defeat, Saturday afternoon at the Kennedy Sports + Recreation Center.

The loss was the second conference defeat in as many days for Scranton (12-5, 5-2 Landmark), which began the weekend with a perfect 5-0 Landmark record. The win improved Juniata's overall mark to 13-5, the most wins for the Eagles since the 2007-08 campaign, and gave Juniata a share of first place in the Landmark with an 5-2 record. 

Juniata, Scranton, Catholic University of America, and Susquehanna University all sit atop the Landmark standing with identical 5-2 conference records.

Sophomore guard Brian Scholly (State College, Pa./State College Area) led Juniata with a season-high 18 points on 6-of-12 shooting, including four of the Eagles' seven 3-pointers on the night.

Senior Dan Sekulski (Douglassville, Pa./Daniel Boone Area) chipped in with 15 points and handed out three steals, while junior Alex Raymond (Hollidaysburg, Pa./Altoona Area) finished with 13 points while dishing out four assists. Kevin Stapleton (Indiana, Pa./Indiana) rounded out the list of Juniata's double-digit scorer's with 10 points including a pair of treys.

Juniata shot 55 percent (27-of-49) from the field, besting Scranton's 40 percent (21-of-52) effort from the floor.  The Eagles also had a 33 to 27 advantage on the glass over the Royals.

The Eagles also forced the Royals into committing 17 turnovers to Juniata's 15, but Juniata took better advantage and parlayed the Scranton miscues into 23 points.

Juniata took command of the game midway through the first half.  The Eagles initially grabbed a one-point lead on Nate Higgins' (St. Mary's, Pa./Elk County Catholic) jumper at the 14:36 mark of the opening stanza, and still held that single point advantage, 15-14, with 10:58 remaining in the half.

A Stapleton layup started a 15-0 Juniata run that left the Eagles with a sizable 30-14 lead with 5:30 showing on the clock. Stapleton backed up his run-starter with a 3-pointer after a Scranton turnover, and added another trey just under two minutes later to account for eight Juniata points during the surge.

The Eagles held a 15-point lead, 43-28, at the intermission, and saw the margin stretch to 24 points, 52-28 with 17:00 left in the second half, following a pair of Sekulski free throws.

Scranton had three players crack double figures, led by Travis Farrell with 14 points with three 3-pointers. Ross Danzig chipped in with 11 points, while Michael Barr added 10 off the bench.

Juniata will head back to the road for its next two Landmark Conference matchups.  The Eagles travel to Madison, N.J., to face Drew University on Friday, Jan. 27, at 7:30 p.m., followed by a game at the United States Merchant Marine Academy on Saturday, Jan. 28, at 4:00 p.m.

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