JC Comes Back Late to Beat St. Vincent 76-73

JC Comes Back Late to Beat St. Vincent 76-73

THE HEADLINE: After trailing the entire game, Juniata pulled ahead late in the fourth quarter to beat St. Vincent 76-73 on Dec. 7.

THE STARTERS:

5 Bethany Spencer (York, Pa./York Suburban)

21 Katy Leamer (Altoona, Pa./Bellwood-Antis)

30 Dani Atkinson (Lancaster, Pa./Lancaster Catholic)

42 Kelly Leamer (Altoona, Pa./Bellwood)

44 Rachael Anstine (York, Pa./Dallastown)

FIRST QUARTER: Heading into the first timeout, three minutes into the game, the Bearcats led the Eagles 9-2 with six of their points coming from behind the three-point line. At a standstill, Juniata regained possession and Kelly Leamer took charge underneath the basket, making a jumper and putting two more on the board for JC. Atkinson capitalized on a St. Vincent turnover and made the first three of the game for Juniata. After a basket on the other end, Atkinson retaliated with a layup, making the game 11-9.

With a layup and a three, the Bearcats extended their lead to 16-9 heading into the second quarter.

SECOND QUARTER: Katy Leamer hit a long jump shot during the first possession of the second quarter. However, with a foul under the basket, the Bearcats regained their seven-point lead.

Bri Wasser (Ebensburg, Pa./Central Cambria), Kelly Leamer, Atkinson and Suzy England (Mechanicsburg, Pa./Mechanicsburg) each put up two points, but St. Vincent did not slow down.

Down eight, Wasser swished a long jumper. Juniata's aggressive defense kept the Bearcats from adding on and they regained possession on Sarah Sherman's (Lansdale, Pa./Methacton) defensive rebound. Coming down the court, Kelly Leamer tacked on two, making the score 27-23. Kelly Leamer's jumper cut the Bearcats' lead to five, 30-25 at the half.

THIRD QUARTER: A foul called on Kelly Leamer resulted in two for the Bearcats at the beginning of the second half. Katy Leamer then went 2-for-2, as she made a jumper and then a layup on the following drive.

Anstine's three-point play, a layup and free throw, knotted the game at 32 with eight minutes to play in the third quarter. On the Bearcats' next possession, they regained the lead with a successful jump shot.

Despite a 1.000 free throw percentage in the quarter (Atkinson, Anstine, Katy Leamer and Wasser), it ended with Bearcats ahead eight.

FOURTH QUARTER: Down 52-44, Katy Leamer started off the fourth quarter with a turn-around jumper and put the Eagles within six. However, the Bearcats took the ball down the court and scored to maintain their lead.

St. Vincent earned a 14-point lead three minutes into the fourth quarter.

Atkinson began a run by the Eagles with long three that shrunk St. Vincent's lead to 11. After Katy Leamer's free throw, Bailey Swogger (Tyrone, Pa./Bellwood-Antis) completed a steal and layup, putting the Eagles within seven. 

Wasser then drew a foul as she sunk a layup and completed the three-point play.

After a Bearcat timeout, Spencer repeated Swogger's steal and layup play—making it a four-point game, 63-59.

Katy Leamer stood solid under the basket and pulled down two offensive rebounds in a row. Her resiliency resulted in Atkinson's successful jump shot that put the Eagles within two.

St. Vincent put the differential at six, but Atkinson made two straight jumpers and the Eagles trailed by two once again.

With 1:45 left and the Eagles down two, the Bearcats hit a three-pointer. Then, Katy Leamer found herself at the line as she was fouled on a successful layup. 

72-70, Atkinson drew the foul in the paint and made both shots.

With the game tied at 72 and less than a minute left, St. Vincent had the ball. Atkinson completed a steal after the inbound and drove to the basket for a layup. As it rolled out, Spencer went up for the rebound and was fouled in the paint. Her free throws put Juniata ahead for the first time in the game.

A foul was called on Spencer with less than thirty seconds to play, but she only made one for the Bearcats. A foul was then called St. Vincent's and Spencer went to the line for the Eagles. She sunk both shots and the Eagles won the game 76-73.

INSIDE THE BOX: Atkinson led the team with 24 points, her season high. Atkinson was key in Juniata's comeback, as she scored 11 of her points in the fourth quarter. She went 9-for-18 in the field; her two threes were the only threes for the Eagles. Katy Leamer scored 16 points, 14 in the second half alone. She led the team with seven rebounds, four offensive and three defensive.

WHAT'S NEXT?: Juniata will be hosting the Juniata College Holiday Tournament on Thursday, Dec. 29 and Friday, Dec. 30. JC is set to face Arcadia on Thursday at 4 p.m.