HUNTINGDON, PA – With three minutes in the first half, the Juniata women's basketball team had tied the game up at 27 against Goucher but quick buckets lit the Gophers' momentum and they pushed on to a 70-59 victory over the Eagles Wednesday night.
Juniata held a brief lead in the first period when a layup from Natalie Hager (Franklin, PA / Franklin) made it a 6-2 game with 6:29 in the quarter. From there, the conference opponents went back and forth until Goucher broke a 9-9 tie to head into the second period with a four point lead.
Katy Leamer (Altoona, PA / Bellwood-Antis) started the second period with back-to-back threes to diffuse the momentum and two buckets by the Gophers and make it a two-point game (17-15). Rachael Anstine (York, PA / Dallastown) then got sent to the line and went 2-2 to tie the game up at 17.
Goucher pulled ahead once more but the Eagles clawed their way back. A three from Anstine made it 25-25 with 4:11 to play in the half. Anstine would tie the game up at 27 just over a minute later before the Gophers went on a 10-3 run to end the period.
Juniata's defense held Goucher without a point for the first five minutes of the third quarter but the Gophers found their groove once more and held on to get their second conference win of the season, 70-59.
The Eagles finished with a 34.9 shooting percentage and, after forcing 25 turnovers, a 20-7 advantage in points off turnovers.
Hager led the offense with 14 points and picked up seven rebounds (five defensive) as well. Bailey Swogger (Tyrone, PA / Bellwood-Antis) followed with 11 points and seven rebounds.
Leamer drilled in three three-point shots to rack up nine points on the night and picked up two steals. Dani Atkinson (Lancaster, PA / Lancaster Catholic) recorded a team-leading four steals and scored seven points.
The Eagles hit the road for their next Landmark Conference game as they take on the Drew Rangers at 4:00pm Sat. Jan. 30.