HUNTINGDON, Pa. – The Juniata women's basketball team erased a 15-point deficit against No. 13 Catholic University Wednesday night but could not pull out the win as the Eagles fell 77-74 at home. Juniata (14-6, 5-4 Landmark) had five starters finish in double-figures and made 13-of-14 from the free throw line in the second half.
"We played a tough team tonight," said head coach Danny Young-Uhrich. "We had a little lull in the second half that put us in a hole, but the girls fought and that's the one thing I love about my kids. They really fight back."
Sophomore Kelsey Livoti (Altoona, Pa./Bishop Guilfoyle) led the pack with a team-high 14 points. Senior Jordan Speck (Huntingdon, Pa./Southern Huntingdon) had 13 points and shot a perfect 5-for-5 from the free throw line. And senior Natalie Glinsky (Indiana, Pa./Indiana) and junior Kate McDonald (Pennsylvania Furnace, Pa./State College Area) finished with 12 points each, respectively. McDonald tied for the game high of seven rebounds.
The Eagles battled close in the first half. Glinsky tied it up 32-all on a three with 3:01 on the clock. But Catholic pushed the lead back out to seven (41-34) before the break. The Cardinals came out on fire in the second half, extending their lead to 15 before Juniata began swapping baskets and closing the gap.
A three by Livoti with 2:45 to play pulled the Eagles within three (73-70). A missed jumper by Catholic on the next possession allowed freshman Paige Dennison (East Berlin, Pa./Bermudian Springs) to get a left-handed transition layup in, putting the Eagles within one.
Down by two (74-72) with less than a minute to play, Juniata got three shots off but couldn't make them fall. Catholic finally got the rebound with 30 seconds left and was sent to the free throw line. The Cardinals extended the lead to five before Livoti got a layup at the end.
Catholic (19-1, 8-1 Landmark) was led by Jenny McGann who finished with 22 points.
"They made it a fun game at the end," added Young-Uhrich. "The kids really fought hard and hopefully they acknowledge that and it will propel us into Saturday."
Juniata stays home this Saturday, Feb. 2 when they join the men in a double-header against No. 19 Moravian. The women open the night at 5 p.m. with the men following at 7 p.m. The Greyhounds handed Juniata its first conference loss of the season back on Dec. 1 when the Eagles fell 84-72. Moravian is the only team to have defeated Catholic this season and sits in first place in the Landmark with a 10-0 league record.
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