ASHLAND, Va.- The Juniata women's basketball team held-on late for a narrow 65-62 victory over Randolph-Macon in the R-MC Tip-Off Classic, Friday evening as head coach Danny Young-Uhrich reached 200 career wins.
Morgan Instone (Johnstown, Pa./Bishop McCort) had 10 points, a career-high 15 rebounds and a career-high seven blocks. Dani Atkinson (Lancaster, Pa./Lancaster Catholic) had 20 points, five steals and three assists, while Rachael Anstine (York, Pa./Dallastown) had seven points, seven rebounds and two blocks.
The game got off to slow start, but the Eagles managed to take a 10-6 lead with just over three minutes remaining in the quarter. Kaeana Rebert (Hanover, Pa./South Western) scored inside off a pass from Madison Colyer (Newville, Pa./Big Spring), Rebert returned the favor setting up Colyer and Veronica Cosmopolis (Lima, Peru/Colegio Carmelitas) sank two free throws to push the lead to 10 at 16-6. The Yellow Jackets scored via a layup before the quarter ended as Juniata led 16-8 after one.
Atkinson and Anstine combined for 16 of the Eagle 20 second quarter points, but Randolph-Macon found their footing on offense as well as they tallied 19 of their own. The Eagles went into the half with a 36-27 lead.
The Yellow Jackets opened the quarter with a 12-7 spurt to pull within six as JC took a timeout. Bethany Spencer (York, PA / York Suburban HS) canned a three to make it 46-39, but Randolph Macon kept pushing. With a minute and half to go, Randolph Macon had narrowed the gap to four at 46-42. Atkinson split a pair of free throws and scored inside before the Yellow Jackets scored the final two field goals of the quarter to make it 49-46 heading into the forth.
The teams remained even through the beginning of the fourth, and a Colyer jumper made it 61-54 with four and a half minutes to go in the contest. Randolph-Macon pulled within five a minute later. In the next minute and a half, neither team could put the ball in the basket, and with a minute to go, the score remained 61-56 Juniata.
The Yellow Jackets grabbed three offensive rebounds in a row before finally converting to make it 61-58 with 41 seconds left. R-MC forced a turnover and went racing off for a layup, but Gracie Stauffer (Loysville, Pa./West Perry) stuffed the attempt and grabbed the rebound. Following an Eagle timeout, Juniata turned the ball over and fouled, sending Macon to the line. They sunk both to make it 61-59 and fouled the Eagles immediately. Atkinson split a pair of foul shots, but Stauffer grabbed the offensive board and got it to Rebert, who was fouled. She split her foul shots to give Juniata a 63-59 lead with eight seconds left.
The Yellow Jackets called time to advance the ball, and drilled a three to make it 63-62 with five seconds left. Two seconds ran off the clock before they fouled Atkinson, who sunk both free throws to make it 65-62. The final three pointer by Randolph-Macon was off as the Eagles hung on to win.
Instone's seven blocks were two shy of the Juniata single game record of nine by Katie O'Brian in 2005. The team's 12 blocks were one shy of the team record of 13 set against Messiah in 1988.
The Eagles got a massive spark from their bench, as they held a 23-0 edge in bench scoring. Juniata never trailed in the contest.
JC returns to action tomorrow in R-MC Tip-Off Classic against Bridgewater. Tipoff is at 2:00.