Huntingdon, Pa.- The Juniata men's basketball team showed why they are the top-rated scoring defense in the country as they completely shut Pitt-Bradford down in the first half on their way to a 95-62 victory, Monday evening at Memorial Gymnasium.
Damon Rickens (Altoona, Pa./Bishop Guilfoyle) had 12 points and six rebounds while Jake Holsopple (Hollidaysburg, Pa./Hollidaysburg) added 11 points off the bench. Seth Brewer (Lancaster, Pa./Manheim Township) and Marcus Lee (Carolltown, Pa./Bishop Carroll) each had 10 points. Brandon Martinazzi (Cresson, Pa./Bishop Carroll) and Noah Neville (Westminster, MD/North Carroll) contributed eight points apiece. Paul Martello (York, Pa./York Catholic) added nine points five assists and three steals and Wil Peralta (Hangerstown, Md./North Hagerstown) had six points and six rebounds.
Rickens rebounded an errant Juniata shot out of the air and banked it in all in one motion to get JC going. Lee finished going to his right and Rickens drilled a three from the right wing off a pass from Brewer to make it 7-0 early. Martinazzi took a handoff from Lee and zoomed to the hoop for a layup in traffic. Back-to back layups from Lee had the Eagles up 15-0 in the first four minutes of the game.
Nathan Markey (York, Pa./Central York) found Holsopple underneath for two before Brewer hit Martello in stride and he finished through contact, making the basket and sinking the foul shot as JC led, 20-0. With 12:51 remaining, the Panthers nailed a three to stop the Eagle shutout, but Juniata did not relent as they closed the half on a 23-9 run and went into the locker room ahead, 41-12.
Pitt-Bradford found their shot in the second half which was an offensive battle, as JC narrowly outscored the Panthers, 52-50.
Juniata handed out 27 assists, the most they have had since the 2009-2010 season.
The Eagles shot 60.3% from the field, held a 50-23 edge on the glass, scored 56 points in the paint and got 39 points off the bench.
Juniata will host Penn State Abington in their Holiday Tournament, Thursday at 7:00.