Huntingdon, Pa.- Dani Atkinson (Lancaster, Pa./Lancaster Catholic) became just the 15th women's basketball player in school history to notch 1,000 points as the Juniata women's basketball team used dominant first and third quarters to blowout visiting La Roche, 84-53, Monday evening at Memorial Gymnasium.
Atkinson had a game-high 15, Rachael Anstine (York, Pa./Dallastown) had 10 points and six rebounds while Carmella Bickel (Elysburg, Pa./Lourdes Regional) added 10 points off the bench. Morgan Instone (Johnstown, Pa./Bishop McCourt) had nine points and three steals while Haley Myers (Huntingdon, Pa./Juniata Valley) and Suzy Badorf-England (Mechanicsburg, Pa./Mechanicsburg High School) each tallied eight points. Gracie Stauffer (Loysville, Pa./West Perry) totaled 10 eights, six rebounds, four assists and four blocks.
The Eagles opened the game in dominating fashion as they did not let La Roche score for more than four minutes. Atkinson scored the first points of the game via a three pointer off a pass from Instone. Instone split two foul shots, Atkinson made both of her free throws and Veronica Cosmopolis (Lima, Peru/Colegio Carmelitas) found Stauffer for two as JC led 8-0 in the first three minutes. The Redhawks called timeout to try and quell the run, but a second Atkinson three and another Stauffer layup of a feed from Bethany Spencer (York, Pa./York Suburban) made it 13-0.
With just over five minutes to go in the first frame, La Roche scored on a layup. JC closed the quarter on a 14-6 run as they led 27-8. The second quarter was a much tighter contest, with the Redhawks outscoring Juniata 15-14 in the quarter. Midway through the second, needing only three points, Atkinson had a look from the top of the key, but it was just a bit to the right. With two and half minutes left, she made two foul shots and with just over a minute remaining, she went to the line again, needing to make one. She narrowly missed the first before making the second and left the game to a standing ovation from the home crowd. Juniata led comfortably at halftime, 41-23.
A 22-8 advantage in the third saw the Eagles put the game away as they cruised to their ninth win of the year.
JC held a 45-32 edge in rebounds, a 36-18 advantage in points in the paint and scored 21 points off 22 La Roche turnovers.
The Eagles return after Christmas to host their Holiday Tournament, where they will play St. Lawrence, December 29th at 4:00.