ALTOONA, Pa.- The Juniata men's basketball team opened the season with a convincing 93-62 win over Mount Aloysius Friday evening in the PSU-Altoona Coaches vs Cancer Tournament.
Marcus Lee (Carrolltown, Pa./Bishop Carroll) had 21 points and tied his career-high with 14 rebounds, Brandon Martinazzi (Cresson, Pa./Bishop Carroll) totaled 22 points and Damon Rickens (Altoona, Pa./Bishop Guilfoyle) had 13 points and four rebounds. Paul Martello (York, Pa./York Catholic) chipped in with 10 points off the bench, while Seth Brewer (Lancaster, Pa./Manheim Township) had 12 points and five assists.
The teams were evenly matched in the opening 10 minutes, with Juniata never leading by more than three. A Mount Aloysius layup made it 18-17 with 9:55 remaining in the half. Over the next five minutes, JC went on a 15- 2 run. Rickens sank two free throws before the Mounties came down and scored inside. Lee split a pair of free throws, rebounded his own miss, and Martinazzi ended up drilling a three off a feed from Brewer. He then scored inside, Martinazzi scored on a layup of his own and Lee split two sets of free throws. Lee capped the run with an and-one layup off a feed from Brewer, and sunk the foul shot to make it 33-19.
The Mounties made two free throws, but that didn't stop JC's momentum in the slightest as they closed the half on a 14-5 run and went into the locker-room up 47-26.
Juniata cruised in the second half, scoring 46 points as they won handily. They shot 51.6% from the field, 40.0% from three and 77.3% from the line. JC forced 21 turnovers and scored 31 points off of them.
The Eagles will face LaGrange in the championship game, tomorrow at 3:00.