Eagles End First Round of Conference Play with 74-63 Loss

Eagles End First Round of Conference Play with 74-63 Loss

THE HEADLINE: Juniata suffered a 74-63 loss to Elizabethtown, as time ran out on Juniata's second half rally. Completing the first round of conference play, the Eagles sit at 1-6 in the Landmark and Elizabethtown moved to 3-4.


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 HALF: Katy Leamer sunk a three-point to get the Eagles on the board after an Elizabethtown bucket. E-Town answered with a drive to the basket and a successful layup.

Atkinson regained possession for JC with a steal at the top of the Blue Jays' key. However, the Eagles were unable to capitalize and the Blue Jays added on three from behind the line on their next possession. 

After a pair of E-Town free throws, Atkinson responded with a jumper, making the score 9-5. 

The Blue Jays then pulled ahead with a 15-2 run. Veronica Cosmopolis (Lima, Peru/Colegio Carmelitas) accounted for Juniata's only two points during the run. E-Town took a 24-7 lead heading into the second quarter.

Bri Wasser (Ebensburg, Pa./Central Cambria) capitalized on her steal with a jumper, starting the scoring the second quarter and igniting an 8-4 run for JC. The run was backed by four free throws from Cosmopolis and bookended by Kaitlyn Young's (Mount Ephraim, N.J./Audubon) layup with seven minutes remaining the first half.

The score 28-17, a foul was called against Atkinson led to a three-point play for the Blue jays. E-Town tacked on 11 more with five layups and a free throw, earning a 25-point lead over the Eagles. 

Morgan Instone (Johnstown, Pa./Bishop McCort) ended the six-minute drought for the Eagles with a put-back, but E-Town sunk one more three-pointer before the half ran out.

JC ended the half with a 45-19 deficit.

SECOND HALF: Juniata inched its way back with a 22-point third quarter, starting with Kelly Leamer's jumper during the first possession of the second half.

The Blue Jays tallied up seven more in the first five minutes of the third quarter, only disputed by Anstine's layup. 

Behind 52-23 with five minutes left in the quarter, Anstine hit a jump shot, followed by Kelly Leamer's on the next JC possession. In those next five minutes, JC outscored E-Town 18-11. Haley Myers (6), Anstine (4), Wasser (3), Kaeana Rebert (3) and Kelly Leamer (2) contributed in the run that cut E-Town's lead to 61-41.

Juniata worked quickly to erase the Blue Jays' 20-point lead as the clock ticked down in the last quarter of the game. Atkinson laid one in at the beginning of the fourth, yet it was answered by the Blue Jays.

A powerful defensive rebound by Katy Leamer led to Bethany Spencer's long three-pointer to shrink Elizabethtown's lead to 63-46. The Eagles made it look as if they were going to come back late in the game, but they were unable to get the necessary stops underneath the E-Town bucket.

Despite Myers' (Huntingdon, Pa./Juniata Valley) seven points in the fourth quarter, the time ran out to cut JC's rally short. The Blue Jays won the game 74-63.

IN THE BOX: Four of the Blue Jays' starters tallied double-digits in the contest, including one double-double.

The Juniata offense was cold in the first half, shooting 20% from the field in the first quarter and 22.2% in the second, while E-Town shot for at least 50% in first half.

UP NEXT: Juniata will begin its second-round of the conference play on Saturday, Jan. 28 at Catholic University. The women are scheduled to tip off at 2 p.m., followed by the men at 4 p.m.