SELINSGROVE, Pa.- The Juniata men's basketball team suffered a 72-64 loss in overtime at Susquehanna, Saturday afternoon at O.W. Houts Gymnasium.
Jake Holsopple (Duncansville, Pa. / Hollidaysburg) found Paul Martello (York, Pa. / York Catholic) for three to open the scoring. The River Hawks answered with a three the old-fashioned way before Martello drilled his second three, this one off an assist from Brandon Martinazzi (Cresson, Pa. / Bishop Carroll) to make it 6-3.
A Marcus Hall (York, Pa. / Trinity) foul shot along with a jumper from Nate DaCanal (Johnsonburg, Pa. / Elk County Catholic), a lay in from Hall after he stole the ball and a three from Cameron Keck (Waynesboro, Pa. / Waynesboro) off a Caidon Owen (Glenelg, Md. / Glenelg Country School) pass made it 14-5 Eagles with under 12 minutes to go in the half.
The River Hawks got back within three before Martello scored inside off another find from Holsopple before Martello turned provider, finding Nathan Markey (York, Pa. / Central York) for a layup to make it 18-11. Susquehanna pulled even at 18 with six minutes and twenty seconds left in the half, and Juniata called timeout. Coming out of the timeout, Markey zipped a pass inside to Zach Engle (Millheim, Pa. / Penns Valley) who laid it in to make it 20-18. Susquehanna closed the half on a 11-0 run as they led, 29-20, at the break.
Nicholas Albert (Herndon, Va. / Westfield High) started the second half by drilling a deep three from the top of the key. On the next offensive possession, Holsopple scored on a sweeping left-hand layup to pull Juniata within six, 31-25. Susquehanna scored inside before Martello converted a difficult layup of his own in heavy traffic. Albert nailed a jumper before Martello again attacked the rim and converted to make it 35-31 River Hawks with 15 minutes to play. A Martinazzi jumper tied the score a minute later.
Susquehanna pulled ahead over the next few minutes, but Juniata kept it close, and a contested layup by Markey off a bounce pass from Martinazzi pulled JC back within two, 50-48.
With a little over two minutes left, Holsopple attacked from the foul line and laid it in off the glass to make it 54-53, Susquehanna. The River Hawks made two foul shots before Martinazzi nailed a short jumper to keep the Eagles within one.
Susquehanna split a pair of foul shots with under a minute to go. The Eagles ran through their offense before Martinazzi scored inside to tie the game at 57-57 with 30 seconds to play. The River Hawks looked to hold for a final shot, but in the final seconds Markey stole the ball. The ball wound up in Martello's hands with a second remaining, he tried to fling up a shot but it was blocked by a River Hawk so the teams headed to overtime.
The River Hawks opened the extra period by converting an and-one to go ahead by three. Martinazzi and Martello each split a pair of free throws which made it 60-59 with three and half minutes to go. Susquehanna scored the next five points over the next two minutes before two Martinazzi foul shots made it 65-61. Juniata could get no closer the rest of the way as Susquehanna held on to win.
Martello had a game-high 19 points.
Juniata returns to action Monday at home against Shenandoah. Tipoff is at 7:00.