HUNTINGDON, PA - The Juniata women's basketball team was down by three at the half but a flat third quarter allowed Elizabethtown to pull away and take the win 57-45 Thursday night.
"We just looked tired in the second half," head coach Danny Young-Uhrich said. "It's been a tough week for our team with the obstacles they've had to overcome and we're a young team. It takes time to build a culture of confidence."
Leading Juniata against the Blue Jays was junior Katy Leamer (Altoona, PA / Bellwood-Antis). Leamer put up 12 points and six rebounds off the bench.
Dani Atkinson (Lancaster, PA / Lancaster Catholic) followed with eight points and seven rebounds, Bethany Spencer (York, PA / York Suburban) at seven points and four rebounds, while Bailey Swogger (Tyrone, PA / Bellwood-Antis) and Rachael Anstine (York, PA / Dallastown) each added six points and three blocks.
Anstine had been the leading point-scorer and a force for Juniata in each of their last two games but ran into trouble against the Blue Jays.
"As she continues to get better, teams are going to hone in on her," Young-Uhrich said. "She is going to need to learn how to respond to that."
JC finished the game shooting below 30 percent and recorded just seven points in the third period.
While the Eagles struggled offensively, their defense was able to contain Elizabethtown for much of the game. They shut down the Blue Jay's leading point-scorer Rachel Forjan, who averages 15.0 points per game, holding her to five points on the night.
Of Juniata's 50 rebounds, 34 came from the defense. They recorded seven blocks, eight steals and forced 17 turnovers.
Natalie Hager (Franklin, PA / Franklin) led JC in rebounds with 10, six offensive and four defensive.
"Our defense is pretty solid," Young-Uhrich said. "We just need to score some more buckets."
The Eagles look to rebound from the loss when they travel to Wilkes-Barre, Pa. Sat. Jan. 9 to face the Wilkes University Colonels at 1pm.