HUNTINGDON, Pa.-The Juniata women's basketball team could not quite complete the comeback as they lost to visiting Lycoming, 69-66, Wednesday evening in Memorial Gymnasium.
Cassie Mock (Martinsburg, Pa. / Central Martinsburg) lobbed a pass inside to Gracie Stauffer (Loysville, Pa. / West Perry) who had sealed her defender and she laid it in for the opening bucket of the game. The Warriors responded with a three before Stauffer swung the ball to mock in the right corner. Mock drilled it to give the Eagles the lead back before a Lycoming layup tied things at 5-5. The Eagles did not score again until Averie Hess (Jersey Shore, Pa. / Jersey Shore) grabbed a loose ball following a Stauffer rejection. Hess took the ball the length of the flor and laid it in off the glass while being fouled. Following the foul shot JC lead, 8-7 with six minutes to go. A minute later, Stauffer stole the ball at the top of the key, took it the length of the floor and laid it in off the glass. On the next offensive possession, Grace Long (Harrisburg, Pa. / Central Dauphin) found Stauffer inside who converted through contact to earn the and-one. The free throw put Juniata up three, 13-10. Lycoming went a 14-0 run over the next three minutes, with a three by Long in the corner breaking the Eagle cold spell to make it 24-16. The Warriors led 28-16 after one.
After a Warrior turnover, Hess hit Long with a slick bounce pass and she laid it in to pull Juniata within 10 forty seconds into the second quarter. A Kaeana Rebert (Hanover, Pa. / South Western) pullup jumper on the break and three foul shots from Mock help the Eagles claw their way back. A layup by Madison Colyer (Newville, Pa. / Big Spring) off a feed from Rebert pulled the Eagles within seven, 32-25. A few minutes later, two Kymiah Carpenter (Baltimore, Md. / Gerstell Academy) foul shots and a Stauffer jumper off a pass from Megan Haines (Bloomsburg, Pa. / Bloomsburg) made it 34-29 with three minutes to go. The Warriors rattled of six straight to push their lead back to double-digits. A Rebert jumper was followed by a Lycoming jumper. Mock found Stauffer again inside with sixteen seconds to go to slice the deficit to nine, 42-33 heading into halftime.
The third quarter was a stalemate as each both scored 11 points as the deficit fluctuated from 13 to eight. A Stauffer layup off a Rebert pass and a Colyer jumper after grabbing an offensive rebound pulled Juniata back within nine in the final minute and fifteen seconds of the third. Both teams struggled to create offense as JC shot 33% from the field but held Lycoming to 25.0% shooting from the field. The Eagles went into the final period trailing 53-44.
Baskets from Colyer and Stauffer pulled Juniata within five in the first two minutes. The next few minutes saw the teams traded baskets over the next three minutes as Lycoming kept the Eagles at bay. Jamie Mahigel (Lewistown, Pa. / Mifflin County) found Stauffer for a lefty hook and Rebert scored in traffic a minute later to make it 63-58. Lycoming responded with a layup of their own. Just inside of two minutes, Larissa Leonard (Three Springs, Pa. / Southern Huntingdon) grabbed an offensive rebound in a crowd a drew a foul. She converted both to make it 65-60 with a minute and forty seconds to go. On the ensuing defensive possession, Leonard stole the ball cleanly in the backcourt and drew the foul. 20 seconds later Long scored in the pain to get JC within three, 65-62. Lycoming raced down the floor and finished on the other end, and Juniata called timeout down 67-62 with 58 seconds left.
Coming out of the timeout, Rebert tossed it inside to Stauffer who scored to pull the Eagles within three. Rebert was called for a foul on a near steal just inside of thirty seconds. Two seconds later, Rebert successfully stole the ball and beat everyone the other way before she laid it in to make it 67-66. Juniata fouled, Lycoming made both and the Eagles called timeout with 15 seconds left. JC moved the ball around but the Warrior defense held strong as JC could not find a look at a tying shot as Lycoming held on to win.
Lycoming shot 45.8% from the floor while the Eagles shot 41.3%. Juniata held a 43-29 advantage on the glass.
Stauffer tied a career-high in points with 24 while adding a career-high 20 rebounds.
The Eagles will take on Drew, Saturday 2:00.