Eagles Shutdown Golden Wolves in Second Half, Remain Unbeaten

Marcus Lee blocks a shot against Alvernia.
Marcus Lee blocks a shot against Alvernia.

HUNTINGDON, Pa.- The Juniata College men's basketball team held Alvernia to a mere 13 points in the second half as they pulled away for a 70-41 victory, Sunday afternoon at Memorial Gymnasium.

Marcus Lee (Carrolltown, Pa./Bishop Carroll) had 16 points and 11 rebounds, Brandon Martinazzi (Cresson, Pa./Bishop Carroll) had 11 points while Seth Brewer (Lancaster, Pa./Manheim Township) had eight points, six rebounds and three steals. Paul Martello (York, Pa./York Catholic) and Jake Holsopple (Hollidaysburg, Pa./Hollidaysburg) chipped in eight points apiece off the bench.

The Golden Wolves drained three three-pointers to open the game as they took an 11-5 lead over the Eagles early on. Juniata responded with an 18-5 run. Back-to-back layups from Lee got JC within two at 11-9. Alvernia answered with a baseline jumper, Martello scored on a layup and Holsopple drained a three off a pass from Nate DaCanal (Johnsonburg, Pa./Elk County Catholic) to give Juniata their first lead of the game at 14-13. Nathan Markey (York, Pa./Central York) found Damon Rickens (Altoona, Pa./Bishop Guilfoyle) for three, Alvernia hit a contested three, and Lee drilled a jumper to cap the run as JC led, 23-16. 

The Golden Wolves would not go away, and after scoring in traffic, narrowed the Eagle lead to three at 27-24 with 3:20 left in the half. The teams traded buckets the rest of the way, with Alvernia nailing a three to get within three again at 28-31. With just under 50 seconds left, Martinazzi beat his man off the dribble and finished inside to make it 33-28. He was not done though and in the final seven seconds of the half, he went the length of the floor and finished on the left side to send JC into the half ahead, 35-28.

Lee opened the second half with a nice move down low to score and make it 37-28. Over the next few possessions, Wil Peralta (Hagerstown Md./North Hagerstown) did a bit of everything to start the run that blew the game open. First, he tipped a ball away and threw it ahead to Martinazzi while falling out of bounds as Martinazzi coasted in for an easy two points. Then, he grabbed two straight offensive rebounds in a crowd of Golden Wolves, although JC did not manage to score on that trip down the floor. After Alvernia split a pair of foul shots, Peralta hit Lee with a slick bounce pass between two defenders for an easy deuce to make it 41-29. The Eagles went on a 10-0 run over eight minutes as the lead ballooned to 52-29. Alvernia eventually scored on a put back to end their scoring drought.

Juniata held a 18-12 margin in scoring over the final 12 minutes as they won 70-41.

The Eagles had a massive 47-27 edge on the glass and a 40-14 edge in points in the paint. 

Juniata will open Landmark play against Scranton, Saturday at 2:00.