KINGS POINT, N.Y. – The Juniata women's basketball team was stunned Saturday afternoon on the road by Merchant Marine Academy. The Mariners pulled out a 73-70 victory over Juniata who dropped to 16-7 overall, 7-5 in the Landmark Conference with the loss.
Junior Kate McDonald (Pennsylvania Furnace, Pa./State College Area) earned her 11th double-double of the season after leading the team with 21 points and 13 rebounds. Freshman Paige Dennison (East Berlin, Pa./Bermudian Springs) continued her stellar play this week. She set a new career-high in points, finishing with 15. And sophomore Kelsey Livoti (Altoona, Pa./Bishop Guilfoyle) rounded out the Eagles in double-figures. She earned 12, respectively, after going a perfect 4-for-4 from the free throw line.
Merchant Marine jumped out to an early lead and held on through the break. It wasn't until just over 10 minutes left that Juniata took its first lead 55-54 on jumper by Dennison.
The teams battled back-and-forth all the way down to the wire. McDonald attempted to take a charge from Tamara Kaileh with 1:49 to play but was whistled for the block. Kaileh made the layup and completed the three-point play to put the Mariners within one (69-70).
Down by two 72-70, the Eagles would have a chance to tie the game with 12 seconds left but missed the layup. Merchant Marine (10-12) held on for its second conference win of the season. Kaileh led the team with a game-high 24 points.
Juniata closes out its three-game road stint at Susquehanna on Wednesday, Feb. 13. The Eagles pulled out the 70-60 win back on Jan. 23 when the programs last met and they are 10-9 against the Crusaders under head coach Danny Young-Uhrich.
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