HUNTINGDON, PA- A hot shooting first half gave Juniata a big lead that held up in the end as the Eagles defeated Goucher 75-55 on Wednesday night at Memorial Gymnasium. The win snaps JC's two-game winless streak and improves its record at 9-10 overall and 3-7 in the Landmark. The Gophers drop to 3-16 overall and 2-8 in the conference.
The Eagles converted 60.7% (17-of-28) of their shots in the first half and nailed seven out of 10 (70%) three-point attempts enroute to a 19 points halftime lead. "I thought we came out with energy and effort that I wanted to see coming off a tough loss on Saturday," said head coach Greg Curley. "For the most part, we controlled the game from start to finish."
The Juniata lead stood at nine points, 14-5, at 14:56 of the first frame. Goucher was able to mount a small 12-7 run to get to within four points, 18-14, at 11:08.
The Eagles led by six points, 27-21, with 6:28 remaining until halftime. A 19-5 run by Juniata gave the Eagles their biggest advantage of the night as both teams went into the locker room with Juniata up 46-27.
Juniata still had a healthy lead in the early minutes of the second half and looked to cruise to a victory. That would not be the case as the Gophers mounted a 23-9 run to get to within five points, 57-52, at 9:28 to make it a ballgame.
Goucher hung with the Eagles as the JC lead stood at 62-54 with 6:42 showing on the game clock. The Juniata defense was stout as it held the Gophers with a field goal for the remainder of the contest. Goucher was 0-for-10 during that stretch. The Eagles outscored the Gophers 13-1 to come out with the win.
Four players scored in double figures for Juniata led by Marcus Lee's (Carrolltown, PA/Bishop Carroll) 16 points on 7-of-13 shooting. He also grabbed six rebounds, blocked two shots, and came away with two steals. Seth Brewer (Lancaster, PA/Manheim Township) had a career-high 15 points on 5-of-6 shooting in 28 minutes off the bench. He dished out three assists and accumulated four steals. Justin Fleming (Richmond, VA/Benedictine College Prep) chipped in 12 points. Nate Ogle (Falls Church, VA/George Mason) added 10 points, six rebounds, three assists, and two steals.
"We got more plays out of a lot of guys particularly at the right time," noted Curley. "It was a pretty consistent defensive effort and I thought we improved in a lot of areas."
Juniata had a season-high 13 steals. The Eagles outrebounded the Gophers 35-30. JC led in points in the paint, 36-22, and in points off of turnovers, 25-15.
The Eagles remain at home and host Drew on Saturday. It is Shaq The House with all proceeds going to fellow player Shaquill Smith as he recovers from a serious illness. Game time will at 4 p.m. following the women's game at 2 p.m.