Slow Start Downs Eagles, Fall 72-59 to Catholic in Semis

Slow Start Downs Eagles, Fall 72-59 to Catholic in Semis

WASHINGTON, D.C. – A rough start hurt the Juniata women's basketball team as the Eagles fell 72-59 to No. 9 Catholic University Wednesday night in the Landmark Conference tournament semifinals. Juniata finished the year 18-8 overall, 9-5 in Landmark play.


Juniors Kate McDonald (Pennsylvania Furnace, Pa./State College Area) and Jordan Hileman (Williamsburg, Pa./Williamsburg) along with freshman Natalie Hager (Franklin, Pa./Franklin) finished with double-figures in points.  McDonald earned her 13th double-double of the season with game-highs of 18 points and 12 rebounds.  Hileman and Hager each at 13 points, respectively.  Hager grabbed a game and career-high three steals.


The Eagles went down early after shooting only 20 percent from the floor in the first half.  Catholic went on to lead by as many as 21 points after the break.  Juniata pulled within 10 on a transition jumper by Hager with 8:17 to play before the Cardinals extended the lead again.


Juniata closes its season ranked nationally in nearly ever category as a team.  They are top 50 in free-throw percentage (13th), 3-point field goals per game (23rd), assists per game (37th), scoring offense (38th), and assist-turnover ratio (49th).  Eagles individually ranked are McDonald, Hileman and senior Jordan Speck (Huntingdon, Pa./Southern Huntingdon).  McDonald is ranked in eight different categories, while Hileman appears in the assist per game rankings and Speck earned spots on the 3-point field goal percentage and 3-point field goals per game lists.


Speck ends her career as the Eagles all-time 3-point leader.  She holds the single-season and career records eclipsing Ali Meckey ('08) for the titles. Hileman and McDonald worked their way into the record books this season.  Hileman is among the career 3-point field goal leaders.  McDonald earned her way onto the career scoring, rebounding, assists, steals and blocked shots leaderboard.  Her 271 rebounds are the fourth-best single season mark in program history.  She also tied Jen Hnatuck ('08) and head coach Danny Young-Uhrich ('00) with 30 blocks to make the single-season leaderboard.


Young-Uhrich is now 157-111 for her career after her eighth straight winning season.


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