HUNTINGDON, Pa. – Juniata women's basketball's came back from a 20 point first half deficit but could not hold on as they eventually fell 69-59 at home to Franklin & Marshall (F&M) Tuesday night. The Eagles dropped to 6-3 with the loss while F&M improved to 4-5.
"They're a solid team," said Head Coach Danny Young-Uhrich of the Diplomats. "There were moments when we looked amazing and I think that's the most frustrating part from our end. We see what we can do. We see the team that we can be. We need to play for 40 minutes and that's something we're really struggling with right now is playing a full 40 minutes."
Juniata was led by sophomore Kelsey Livoti (Altoona, Pa/Biship Guilfoyle) who finished with a career-high 17 points. The 5-11 guard made 3-of-4 from behind the arch and went 4-for-4 from the free throw line. Senior Jordan Speck (Huntingdon, Pa./Southern Huntingdon) was the only other Eagle in double-digits with 11 points, while junior Kate McDonald (Pennsylvania Furnace, Pa./State College Area) finished with a team-high 10 rebounds.
Junior Jordan Hileman (Williamsburg, Pa./Williamsburg) set a new personal record. She finished with a game and career-high seven steals.
Juniata trailed by as much as 20 with 7:30 to play in the first half. The Eagles chipped away at F&M's lead, going on a 13-2 run to pull ahead 46-41 with 10:21 left to play.
"It wasn't an immediate comeback from 20, but we came back from a large deficit," said Young-Uhrich. "When you dig yourself a hole like that, it takes a lot of effort to get back. They played loose."
The Diplomats took the lead (50-48) on a layup with 7:35 to left in the game and never looked back. 2012-13 Centennial Conference Player of the Year Alexa Barbush led F&M with 29 points. She finished with six steals, five rebounds and two blocks.
Juniata takes a break for the holiday and returns home for the Juniata College Holiday Tournament Friday and Saturday, Dec. 28-29. The Eagles play host John Jay, Farmingdale State and Kings College. Juniata will face John Jay on Friday, Dec. 28 at 7:30 p.m. after Farmingdale State takes on Kings College at 5:30 p.m. The championship game will then take place on Saturday, Dec. 29 at 4 p.m. after the consolation game at 2 p.m. The last time the Eagles faced John Jay, Young-Uhrich was a sophomore on the Eagles roster. Juniata defeated the Bloodhounds 71-28 back on Jan. 10, 1998 at the Frostburg Tournament.
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