River Hawks Pull Ahead Late to Defeat Juniata 71-52

River Hawks Pull Ahead Late to Defeat Juniata 71-52

THE HEADLINE: Juniata (9-7, 1-4) suffered a 71-52 loss at Susquehanna (11-5, 2-3) on Wednesday, Jan. 18. Dani Atkinson and Katy Leamer each scored in double-digits for the Eagles.


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

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

22 Bailey Swogger (Altoona, Pa./Bellwood-Antis)

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

42 Kelly Leamer (Altoona, Pa./Bellwood)

FIRST HALF: After her steal immediately off the tip, Katy Leamer put the Eagles on the board with a jumper. On the next River Hawks' possession, Swogger forced a turnover. Atkinson capitalized on the possession with a jumper of her own. 

With a three-pointer and a layup, Susquehanna gained a one-point lead early in the game. Kelly Leamer answered with two jump shots in three Juniata possessions, putting the Eagles ahead 8-5. Susquehanna's offense ignited shortly after to erase the Eagles' lead and begin a 13-2 run until the end of the first quarter. The Eagles trailed 18-10 heading into the second quarter.

Unfortunately for Juniata, the River Hawks picked up right where they left off in the first quarter as they quickly earned a 27-12 lead. Bri Wasser (Ebensburg, Pa./Central Cambria) accounted for the two points in the River Hawks' run with a layup at the eight-minute mark.

Rachael Anstine (York, Pa./Dallastown) drew a foul under Juniata's basket and went to the line. She made one of her two free throws. On the Susquehanna possession, Spencer forced a turnover and Atkinson completed the play with a layup.

The River Hawks went on to score seven points in the next minute and a half, contested only by Atkinson's jumper. Down 34-17, Katy Leamer pulled up with a three-pointer and quieted the Susquehanna offense. 

In the last two minutes of the half, Atkinson and Katy Leamer each drew fouls and made both of their free throws. Susquehanna, however, was able to tack on five points and take a 39-24 lead into halftime.

SECOND HALF: Juniata came out strong in the third quarter, chipping away to cut Susquehanna's lead to four points. Atkinson (7), Katy Leamer (5), Kelly Leamer (3) and Bailey Swogger (2) each contributed to Juniata's 17-4 run that put the Eagles behind 45-41.

A layup and free throw by the River Hawks made it a seven-point game. Anstine drew a foul and made a pair of free throws but Susquehanna answered with a put-back at the buzzer.

With the game at 50-43 at the beginning of the fourth quarter, Susquehanna went on an uncontested 10-point run to gain a 60-43 lead. Eight missed shots and two turnovers contributed to the quiet Juniata offense.

Atkinson (6) and Katy Leamer (3) recorded more points for the Eagles while Susquehanna continued to add on and win the game 71-52.

KEY PERFORMANCES: Atkinson marked a team-leading 21 points, shooting 9-for-18 from the field with one three-pointer and two free throws.

Katy Leamer followed Atkinson with 17 points, sinking a team-high three three-pointers. She also pulled down six rebounds, one offensive and five defensive. The senior reached the 400-rebound milestone on her third rebound of the game.

UP NEXT: The women and men continue on to Moravian on Saturday, January 21. The women are set to tip-off at 2 p.m. and the men will follow at 4 p.m.