SCRANTON, Pa.-The Juniata women's basketball team hung tough with Scranton for three and half quarters before the Royals ultimately pulled away as the Eagles fell, 63-48, Saturday afternoon at the John Long Center.
Kaeana Rebert (Hanover, Pa. / South Western) found Grace Long (Harrisburg, Pa. / Central Dauphin) for a triple just over two minutes into the contest to make it 3-2 Juniata early. A Madison Colyer (Newville, Pa. / Big Spring) jumper off a pass from Larissa Leonard (Three Springs, Pa. / Southern Huntingdon) a few minutes later momentarily gave JC the lead back before a Scranton layup on the other end made it 6-5. The Royals pushed ahead by six before a Leonard three off a Long assist made it 11-8. A Cassie Mock (Martinsburg, Pa. / Central Martinsburg) jumper a few possessions later made it 13-10. The Royals hit two foul shots with five seconds left to go in the quarter to push ahead by five, but Rebert rattled home a jumper as the buzzer sounded to make it 15-12 after one.
Megan Haines (Bloomsburg, Pa. / Bloomsburg) converted the third trey of the game off a pass from Rebert to pull JC within two, 17-15 early in the second. That was the only Eagle bucket until Gracie Stauffer (Loysville, Pa. / West Perry) scored inside while being fouled. Her free throw made it 20-18 with five minutes to go in the half. three minutes later, Long dished it inside to Stauffer for a layup to make it 22-20 Royals. Scranton scored the final four points of the half as Juniata left the court at half down six, 26-20.
A minute into the third, a steal on one end by Long resulted in a Colyer jumper off a pass from Mock. A few plays later, A Rebert triple off her own offensive rebound followed by a pull up jumper made it 30-27 with just under seven minutes to go in the quarter. The Royals built up a nine-point lead over the next four minutes before Haines found Stauffer inside for another layup. Back to back jumpers from Rebert made it 39-33 with a minute and half to go. A pair of Stauffer foul shots in the final 30 seconds pulled the Eagles within six, but the Royals struck for four points in the final 21 seconds to end the period up, 45-35.
JC opened the fourth with Leonard scoring via layup off a pass from Stauffer. Stauffer converted in the paint while being fouled again, with the free throw narrowing the deficit to five, 45-40. The teams traded buckets, with a layup by Haines off a Rebert find and a Taylor Vrabel (Chambersburg, Pa. / Chambersburg) jumper off another Rebert assist keeping JC within five. Scranton caught fire from behind the arc as they nailed three straight threes to push their lead to 58-45 over the next two minutes, and Juniata couldn't answer the barrage as the ultimately fell, 63-48.
The Royals outscored the Eagles in the paint, 28-14 and held a 34-31 advantage on the glass.
Juniata returns to action Wednesday evening at second in the conference, Elizabethtown. Tipoff is at 7:00.