Eagles Pull Away Late, Rise Above Blue Jays

Eagles Pull Away Late, Rise Above Blue Jays

Huntingdon, Pa.- The Juniata men's basketball team defeated a pesky Elizabethtown team, 75-64, Wednesday evening at Memorial Gymnasium. 

Marcus Lee (Carrolltown, Pa./Bishop Carroll) had 22 points and 10 rebounds for his sixth double-double of the year. Brandon Martinazzi (Cresson, Pa./Bishop Carroll) tallied 17 points and six rebounds while Paul Martello (York, Pa./York Catholic) added 10 points and two steals off the bench. Seth Brewer (Lancaster, Pa./York Catholic) had nine points and two steals while Damon Rickens (Altoona, Pa./Bishop Guilfoyle) had six points and six rebounds. Jake Holsopple (Hollidaysburg, Pa./Hollidaysburg) had five points and five rebounds while Marcus Hall (York, Pa./Trinity) totaled four points and a team high four rebounds.

Martinazzi scored the opening basket by grabbing a defensive rebound and attacking the defense before it set, laying the ball in off the glass. On the next possession, Lee handed the ball off to Rickens on the left wing and he rose and drilled a three. JC assisted on their next two baskets, with the Blue Jays scoring three times as the Eagles led 9-6. A steal from Martinazzi turned into a layup by Brewer and Etown called timeout. 

A 9-5 push from JC made it 20-11 with 12 minutes left in the half. 

Elizabethtown scored inside, Hall hit a cutting Holsopple, Martello hit a high-arching shot off the glass and Hall found Holsopple for an open jumper as the Eagle lead expanded to 26-13.

The Blue Jays narrowed the Eagle lead to seven with just under four minutes to go. Lee made three of four foul shots and Brewer set up Rickens for an easy two to push the lead back to double digits. The Blue Jays scored the final three points of the half as JC led 40-31 at halftime.

Elizabethtown controlled the opening four and half minutes of the second half, and a layup brought them within four at 44-40. Following a Juniata timeout, the teams traded misses before an Etown three narrowed the lead to one. Noah Neville (Westminster, Md./North Carroll) made two foul shots and Lee scored back to back layups off assists from Brewer and Martinazzi to push the lead back to seven. A quick five-point flurry from Elizabethtown pulled them within two again at 50-48.

Holsopple split a pair of free throws, Martinazzi hit a tough jumper from the left wing and Hall scored inside off a pass from Rickens to make it 55-48. 

With just under six minutes left in the game, the Blue Jays hit a pull-up jumper right in front of the foul line to make it 60-54. Martinazzi hit another jumper, and Neville found Lee inside for a layup to push the lead back to 10 with just under two minutes to go. The Blue Jays did not get closer the rest of the way.

The Eagles shot 56.3% from the floor, held a 37-25 edge on the glass and a 34-22 edge in points in the paint. Lee surpassed 1500 points for his career, the fourth Juniata men's basketball player to do so. 

Juniata returns to action Saturday against Catholic. Tipoff is 2:00pm.