HUNTINGDON, Pa.-The Juniata men's basketball team dropped the opening game of their season to Lycoming, 79-57, Tuesday evening in Memorial Gymnasium.
The Warriors opened the game with a deep three from the left wing and a layup inside as they jumped out to a 5-0 lead. Jake Holsopple (Duncansville, Pa. / Hollidaysburg) through a skip pass to Paul Martello (York, Pa. / York Catholic) who was alone on the opposite wing and he drilled it for the first bucket of Juniata's season. Two possessions later, Brandon Martinazzi (Cresson, Pa. / Bishop Carroll) drove baseline from the right wing and laid it in with his left hand to tie things at 5-5.
The Warriors rattled off seven straight points to make it 13-5. Nicholas Albert (Herndon, Va. / Westfield High) found Nate DaCanal (Johnsonburg, Pa. / Elk County Catholic) in the corner. He took a dribble before rising and nailing the jumper make it 13-7. A minute later DaCanal returned the favor as he set up Albert for a jumper which pulled JC within four. Nathan Markey (York, Pa. / Central York) split a pair of free throws, Lycoming split a pair of their own and Martinazzi took a handoff from Holsopple before he sunk a jumper to make it 14-12. A Holsopple free throw narrowed the deficit to one. The teams traded buckets, with Cameron Keck (Waynesboro, Pa. / Waynesboro) converting a smooth step back jumper to make it 16-15. Lycoming scoring inside before Martello found Keck on the right wing for a three to tie things at 18. Two possessions later, Marcus Hall (York, Pa. / Trinity) found Martello for another three as Juniata took their first lead. Keck followed with a three of his own as Juniata led 24-18.
Lycoming went on a 14-0 run over the next four minutes as they went up 32-24. A circus DaCanal layup with just over two minutes left pulled broke the seal on the hoop for Juniata. A free throw followed later by a layup inside the final 10 seconds by Lycoming sent the Eagles into their locker room down nine, 35-26.
Lycoming opened the second half on a 15-6 run as they went up 50-32 with just under fifteen minutes to go in game. An Albert layup off a pass from Noah Neville (Westminster, Md. / North Carroll) followed by a Neville three of a pass from DaCanal made it 55-39, but Juniata couldn't get closer the rest of the contest.
Juniata returns to action at the Scotty Wood Tournament at Muhlenberg to face the host's Friday evening at 8:00 pm.