Huntingdon, Pa.- The Juniata men's basketball team defeated Susquehanna, 75-66, Wednesday evening at Memorial Gymnasium.
Marcus Lee (Carrolltown, Pa./Bishop Carroll) had 15 points, seven rebounds and three blocks, Seth Brewer (Lancaster, Pa./Manheim Township) had 14 points and six assists while Brandon Martinazzi (Cresson, Pa./Bishop Carroll) had 13 points and three steals. Paul Martello (York, Pa./York Catholic) added 12 points and two assists of the bench while Cameron Keck (Wayensboro, Pa./Waynesboro) had nine points, all on three-pointers.
Wil Peralta (Hagerstown, Md./North Hagerstown) opened the scoring for the Eagles with a jumper from the foul line right before the shot clock expired. He then found Lee inside with his defender sealed for a layup before a Martinazzi layup put the Eagles up 6-2 early. A Lee jumper off along the baseline off a pass from Damon Rickens (Altoona, Pa./Bishop Guilfoyle) followed by a Lee layup made it 10-4.
The River Hawks tallied the next five points to pull within one. Keck made back to back threes from the right corner and Marcus Hall (York, Pa./Trinity) scored off a no-look feed from Martello to push the lead to seven. The Eagles continued to expanded their lead, and with a little under six minutes left a Martinazzi layup made it 29-14.
Susquehanna converted the free-throw after an and-one layup to cut JC's lead to single digits at 39-30 with eight seconds left. Needing to go the length of the floor, Brewer inbounded the ball to Lee who flipped it back to Brewer who jetted down the floor. He drove down and finished through some contact to push the lead back to 11 as the Eagles led 41-40 at half.
The River Hawks stayed within range, keeping the deficit around 10 points for the opening nine minutes of the second half as Juniata could not close the door. Martello drilled a three from the left wing to push the lead to 13, but Susquehanna answered with six straight points. A Martinazzi right wing three pushed the lead back to 10 at 62-52.
After Lee scored inside, a three followed by a layup in transition off an Eagle turnover had Susquehanna within five with just under four minutes. Neither team scored over the next two minutes, with two River Hawk foul shots cutting Juniata's lead to three.
With the shot clock winding down, Brewer drilled a huge three from the top of the key to double the lead. The River Hawks began to foul, but the Eagles went eight for eight from the line down the stretch to ice the game.
Juniata shot 57.4% from the floor and 52.9% from the line. The River Hawks shot 46.7% from the floor and 40.0% from three. JC held a 26-21 edge on the glass.
The Eagles begin a difficult four game road trip this Saturday at Scranton. Tipoff is at 2:00.