HUNTINGDON, PA- Behind an overall strong shooting performance, visiting Scranton came into Memorial Gymnasium and defeated the men's basketball team 69-52 on Saturday afternoon. The loss drops Juniata to 11-11 overall and 5-8 in the Landmark Conference. The Royals, who have already clinched a playoff spot, improve to 17-4 and 11-1 in the Landmark.
Scranton shot 59.5% (25-of-42) from the field and 63.2% (12-of-19) from beyond the three-point arc. It was the most that Juniata has surrendered this season.
Both teams struggled shooting the ball in the first two and a half minutes of the first half. JC had a 7-2 lead at 16:03. A 17-5 run by Scranton however, gave the visitors a seven-point advantage, 19-12, at 10:53.
Juniata answered with a quick 7-2 burst to get to within two points, 21-19. The sharp shooting Royals countered with an 11-2 run which included three straight three-point shots. The Eagles were able to make it a two-possession game after Nate Ogle (Falls Church, VA/George Mason) swished a trey with 2:01 to play in the half, to put the score at 32-26. Another Royal three and later a free throw gave Scranton a 10-point advantage at halftime.
The Eagles closed the gap to six points early in the second half. A 20-5 Royal run was the difference maker as Scranton took its biggest lead of the game, 60-40, with 5:27 remaining to play. The Juniata offense went cold for over six and a half minutes of game time as Scranton was able to pull away.
Justin Fleming (Richmond, VA/Benedictine College Prep) and Marcus Lee (Carrolltown, PA/Bishop Carroll High School) both scored 10 points to lead the Eagles. Fleming also pulled down six rebounds while Lee dished out four assists. Trevor Clune (Meadville, PA/Meadville Area) and Ogle both chipped in seven points apiece. Ogle added six boards and three assists.
JC shot 37.3% (19-of-51) from the floor and was 7-of-17 in three-point baskets (41.2%). Despite their shooting struggles, the Eagles were 7-of-8 (87.5) from the foul line for their second-best performance of 2014-15.
Juniata is idle until they travel to Kings Point, NY to play Merchant Marine Academy next Saturday. Game time will be at 4 p.m.