HUNTINGDON, Pa. – 15th-ranked Juniata College women's basketball survived a late charge from Drew University to post a 63-54 win over the visiting Rangers, Sunday evening at the Kennedy Sports + Recreation Center.
Leading by 12 points, 52-40, as the second half rolled under the five-minute mark, Juniata (13-1, 3-0 Landmark) eventually found itself leading 58-54 with under a minute left on the clock following a Logan Cavanaugh conventional three-point play.
Cavanaugh's bucket and foul shot capped a six-point Drew (4-8, 1-2 Landmark) run, and marked the closest the Rangers came to catching Juniata after the game's opening minute.
Juniata senior Ashton Bankos (York, Pa./York Catholic) provided a four-point Juniata rally to answer the Drew threat. Bankos converted a pair of free throw opportunities with 44 seconds remaining following a foul by the Rangers' Jen Mateo.
After a missed Danielle Barber 3-pointer, Bankos added a layup to stretch the Juniata lead back to eight points, 62-54, with 21 seconds left to effectively seal the Eagle win.
The Eagles opened the game with a 10-point lead over the Rangers within the first four minutes of play, extending the margin to 16 points, 35-19, by halftime.
Drew opened the second half with an eight-point run on a Victoria Ault layup followed by treys from Barber and Mateo, cutting the Juniata lead to 35-27 in just over a two minute span. However the Eagles managed to keep at least a three possession lead on the Rangers for much of the second half.
Bankos led the Eagles with 20 points on 6-of-11 shooting the floor, while Jordan Speck (Huntingdon, Pa./Southern Huntingdon) had 15 points with a 5-of-9 effort from the field with two 3-pointers. Kate McDonald (Pennsylvania Furnace, Pa./State College Area) netted 12 points, , while Alyssia Gordon (Spring Grove, Pa./Spring Grove) had eight points to go with a team-high seven rebounds.
Speck and McDonald each dished out three assists, while Speck also logged three steals.
Barber was the lone Drew starter to crack double figures with 18 points, while Cavanaugh had 13 points off the bench.
Juniata will return to the hardwood on Friday, Jan. 13, when it faces Goucher College in Towson, Md. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.