THE HEADLINE: Juniata handed the DeSales Bulldogs their second loss of the season on Friday, Dec. 30 at the Juniata College Holiday Tournament. The Eagles played hard until the last minute to earn the 71-68 victory and move to 7-3 on the season.
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-Antis)
44 Rachael Anstine (York, Pa./Dallastown)
FIRST HALF: Atkinson put the Eagles on the board with a three-pointer 12 seconds into the game, assisted by Anstine. Their lead was erased when DeSales went on an 8-1 run, making the game 8-4 with six minutes left in the first period. Katy Leamer cut the Bulldogs' lead with a pair of free throws and a layup to retaliate a DeSales layup.
The Bulldogs ahead 10-8, Bri Wasser (Ebensburg, Pa./Central Cambria) hit two free throws to tie the game at 10. DeSales got one back after a foul on Veronica Cosmopolis (Lima, Peru/Colegio Carmelitas). However, Suzy Badorf-England (Mechanicsburg, Pa./Mechanicsburg) made two more free throws to give Juniata a one-point lead. England, Haley Myers (Huntingdon, Pa./Juniata Valley), Wasser and Bailey Swogger (Tyrone, Pa./Bellwood-Antis) contributed to tack on seven more for the Eagles. However, DeSales added on five more of their own.
Juniata led 19-16 at the end of the first quarter.
The lead in the second quarter went back-and-forth between Juniata and DeSales. Down 31-30 with a minute and a half left in the half, Swogger scored two at the free throw line and started a 9-3 run for Juniata. Capped off by Wasser's jumper at the buzzer, Juniata went into halftime with a 39-34 lead.
SECOND HALF: Katy Leamer scored two right out of the gate in the third period to extend the Eagles' lead to seven points. The Bulldogs fought back and eventually earned a one-point lead with 6:45 left in the third.
Atkinson regained the lead for the Eagles with a layup and was fouled on her way up. With her successful free throw, Juniata held a 44-42 lead.
DeSales knotted the game at 44 with a put-back. The Bulldogs stole the ball on the Eagles' inbound under their basket and DeSales put themselves ahead 46-44. From then until the end of the third, the Bulldogs scored ten and held a three-point lead over the Eagles.
Down 56-53 at the beginning of the fourth quarter, Atkinson hit a jumper to get within one. On the next possession, Katy Leamer converted a three-point play to put the Eagles ahead 58-56.
Juniata then forced a turnover on DeSales' possession. Under the Juniata basket, Kelly Leamer saved the ball from going out of bounds and tossed it back to Katy Leamer for a layup, increasing their lead to four.
The Eagles earned two stops to keep the Bulldogs off the board, but they were unable to tack on any of their own.
After almost two scoreless minutes, DeSales completed a layup. Immediately after, Atkinson sunk one from behind the three-point line to make the score 63-58.
Cosmopolis stopped a 6-2 DeSales run with a steal under the basket that resulted in a three by Katy Leamer. Her three made the score 68-64.
Tied at 68 with 40 seconds left, Juniata gained possession of the ball on Kelly Leamer's defensive rebound. Katy Leamer was fouled going up for a layup and went to the free throw line. She sank both and gave the Eagles a two-point lead with less than thirty seconds left.
Fouled, Cosmopolis went to the free throw line with eight seconds left; she knocked down one. DeSales hustled down the court after getting the rebound on Cosmopolis' missed second free throw.
On the Bulldogs' missed layup, England came down with the rebound as the clock ran out, securing a 71-68 victory for Juniata.
WHAT'S NEXT?: The Eagles start 2017 at the Gettysburg College Holiday Tournament on Monday, Jan. 2 and Tuesday, Jan. 3. On Monday, the Eagles will face the home team Gettysburg at 6 p.m. On Tuesday, they are set to tip off at 4 p.m. against Swarthmore.