Huntingdon, Pa.- The Juniata men's basketball team jumped on Moravian early on their way to a 76-65 win Saturday afternoon at Memorial Gymnasium.
Marcus Lee (Carrolltown, Pa./Bishop Carroll) had 17 points, eight rebounds and six assists and Seth Brewer (Lancaster Pa./Manheim Township) had 16 points and seven rebounds. Paul Martello (York, Pa./York Catholic) had 14 pints and three steals off the bench while Brandon Martinazzi (Cresson, Pa./Bishop Carroll) had 11 points and five rebounds. Damon Rickens (Altoona, Pa./Bishop Guilfoyle) added eight points while Wil Peralta (Hagerstown, Md./North Hagerstown) had seven points, five rebounds and three assists.
Juniata got off to a rollicking start, opening the game on a 14-0 run.
Brewer scored off an offensive rebound, Rickens found Lee inside before Brewer set Lee up for an easy two. Brewer found Lee again, hit Peralta for an easy two before Lee found Peralta slicing to the hoop. Peralta returned the favor, setting Lee up for an easy deuce as the Eagles were up 14 in the first five minutes of the game. The Greyhounds tossed in a three to get on the board, and over the next five minutes got within 10 at 20-10.
Moravian continued to chip away at the lead, and with a little under eight minutes to go narrow the gap to five at 22-17.
The Eagles scored the next seven points, twice breaking the press for fast-break layups. Brewer took the inbounds pass and went the distance on one and Martinazzi broke through on the other as JC led 29-17. Two foul shots from Martell made it 35-17 with four minutes left in the half, but the Greyhounds closed the half on a 12-6 run as JC led 41-29 at the half.
The Greyhounds press began to frustrate the Eagles in the second half. Over the opening nine minutes they managed to hold the Eagles to seven points and with 11:34 to go, pulled within five at 48-43. Cameron Keck (Waynesboro, Pa./Waynesboro) nailed a three from the left wing, Moravian countered with a three of their own and Lee scored inside off a pass from Martello to make it 53-46.
Following an Eagle timeout, Martello drove from the right wing and finished off the glass with his left hand while being fouled. Following the free throw, JC led by 10 56-46. Rickens drilled a tough fall away jumper along the right baseline and Moravian hit another three to get back within nine. Following a stop, Martinazzi grabbed a long rebound and raced the other way. One on one with a Greyhound defender, he euro-stepped right to left and finished high off the glass. Lee threw a nice pass out of a double-team to Peralta for a layup before Martinazzi added to his fast break highlight tape. This time he hit his defender with a quick spin move and laid it in off the glass to pushed the lead to twelve, 64-52. JC's lead never dropped into single digits the rest of the way.
Juniata shot 53.8% from the floor and held the Greyhounds to 36.1%. JC also held a 41-28 edge on the glass and a 40-18 edge in points in the paint.
The Eagles return to action Wednesday against Elizabethtown. Tipoff is 7:00 p.m.