HUNTINGDON, Pa.- An uneven first half effort gave way to a strong performance in the second as the Juniata men's basketball team took down Lancaster Bible 77-55 on Tuesday night at Memorial Gymnasium. The victory improves the Eagles' record to 8-4 while the Chargers fall to 2-6.
Juniata's 20-4 run in the first half staked the Eagles to a 20-6 lead with 9:14 showing on the game clock. The JC defense held the Chargers without a field goal for 7:22 with Lancaster Bible's only points coming from six free throws. Despite being shut down, the Chargers started to chip away at the Eagle lead and trailed 20-15 with 5:20 left in the half.
A 15-5 Chargers run made the score 25-21 Juniata with 3:33 remaining in the frame. Lancaster Bible was able to get to within two points at the half as the JC lead was down to 28-26.
The Eagle offense came to life in the second half as a 16-5 burst gave Juniata a 44-31 lead at 15:39. A 12-0 run expanded that advantage to 58-35 and JC never looked back as cruised it to the win.
It was a tale of two halves for the Eagles. After shooting 40.7% from the floor in the first half, Juniata went on to shoot 66.7% in the second. JC's three-point percentage was at 55.6% after only making 22.2% of its attempts in the first half.
Four of five Eagle starters reached double-digits in points. Collectively, JC starters were 25-of-39 (64.1%) from the floor for 60 points. Leading the way was Marcus Lee's (Carrolltown, Pa./Bishop Carroll) 18 points. He also dished out five assists. Seth Brewer (Lancaster, Pa./Manheim Township) added 16 points and three assists. Brandon Martinazzi (Cresson, Pa./Bishop Carroll) chipped in 12 points. Trevor Clune (Meadville, Pa./Meadville Area) contributed 14 points.
Juniata had a strong presence in the paint with a 42-18 advantage. The team also outscored the Chargers 28-15 off of turnovers. The Eagles had a small edge in rebounds 33-31.
Landmark Conference play resumes this Saturday as Catholic comes to Memorial Gymnasium. Game time between the Cardinals and Eagles will be at 4:00 p.m.