TOWSON, MD- The Juniata men's basketball team jumped out to a 13-2 lead in the early in the first half but host Goucher recovered and went ahead late in the second to come out with a 58-53 victory on Tuesday night. The loss drops the Eagles to 5-7 overall and 0-4 in the Landmark while the Gophers improve to 3-9 and 2-1 in the conference.
The Gophers scored the game's first basket on layup by Troy DeShields to go ahead 2-0. The Eagles then scored 13 straight points to surge ahead 13-2 with just under 13 minutes remaining in the half.
A 7-0 run by Goucher reduced the JC advantage to four points, 13-9, at 9:41. The Gophers eventually tied the contest up at 17-all on a jumper by Brian Ball with 5:49 showing on the clock. Nate Ogle's (Falls Church, VA/George Mason) layup gave the Eagles a two-point lead 22 seconds later. The Juniata lead got to no more than four points with Marcus Lee's (Carrolltown, PA/Bishop Carroll) free throw at 1:34 putting the Eagles on top 30-26 going into halftime.
A jumper by Ogle to begin the second half gave JC a 32-26 lead. The Eagles still led for most of the second half until a jumper by Goucher's Chris Outing gave the home team its first lead of the night, 45-44, at 8:38.
The Gopher lead increased to eight points, 54-46, with 4:31 to play in the contest. Lee's layup at 2:25 knocked the deficit to six and the first of two free throws by Justin Fleming (Richmond, VA/Benedictine College Prep) got the Eagles to within five points with 23 ticks showing on the game clock.
A layup from Fleming made it a 56-53 game with two seconds left. Juniata quickly called a timeout and looked to steal the inbounds pass for a chance to tie it all up. The Eagles were unsuccessful and were forced to foul. Goucher's Tucker Canary sank both of his free throws to clinch the win for the Gophers.
Lee led the Eagles with 17 points and also had seven rebounds and three steals. Kyle Koehler (Chester Springs, PA/Devon Prep) contributed 11 points, seven rebounds, and four steals. Ogle pulled down a season-high 12 rebounds while also scoring eight points.
Juniata had nine steals to just three for Goucher. The Eagles had only nine total turnovers, which was tied for their second-lowest this season. The Eagles shot slightly better than their opponents from the field as they were 25-of-59 (42.4%) compared to 22-of-55 (40%) for Goucher.
The Eagles return to Memorial Gymnasium to begin a four-game homestand beginning on Thursday night against Elizabethtown. Game time will at 7 p.m.