HUNTINGDON, Pa. – The Juniata women's basketball team improved to 8-3 Saturday after defeating Kings College (Pa.) 80-51 in the 2012 Juniata Holiday Tournament Championship. This was the Eagles first tournament win of the season. Junior Kate McDonald (Pennsylvania Furnace, Pa./State College Area) was named tournament MVP after averaging 11.5 points and 10.5 rebounds. Both she and sophomore Kelsey Livoti (Altoona, Pa./Bishop Guilfoyle) earned all-tournament honors.
"The girls came out and played hard the last two days," said Juniata Head Coach Danny Young-Uhrich. "We had that two game skid there, but it's very rare that we don't take care of business at home. It was good to se them flip that switch and play with pride on their home court."
Juniata cleared its bench for the second game in a row. As a team, they averaged 79 points and 16 more rebounds than their opponents during the tournament.
Senior Jordan Speck (Huntingdon, Pa./Southern Huntingdon) led the Eagles with 17 points in the win over the Lady Monarchs. McDonald picked up her sixth double-double of the year after scoring 12 points and grabbing 13 boards. Livoti was the only other Eagle in double-digits. She finished with 13 points having shot 4-for-9 from the floor.
Kings (Pa.) jumped out to a 6-0 lead after back-to-back three's by Celia Rader to open the game. But Juniata responded with an 11-2 run to take the lead and never looked back. The Eagles led by as much as 36 with 8:45 to go in the second half.
"I'm hoping we keep this going, because I like what we're doing," added Young-Uhrich. "I'm just hoping that we can continually build on this. This is the team, that as coaches, we thought we had. And so now to see that, hopefully we are not looking back and we are continually looking forward."
Juniata kicks off the New Year against Wilkes University on this Wednesday, Jan. 2 at 6 p.m. The Eagles are 18-11 all-time against Wilkes. The programs have been competing since 1977 but have not met since the 1992-93 season.
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