HUNTINGDON, PA- The Juniata women's basketball team had a tall task in front of them in #14 Scranton on Saturday afternoon. The Royals shot just over 50% from the floor and held the Eagles to under 30% in a 81-47 win at Memorial Gymnasium.
The loss drops Juniata to 8-14 overall and 6-7 in the Landmark. Scranton improves to 20-2 and 12-1 in the conference.
Katy Leamer (Bellwood/Bellwood-Antis) was the leading scorer for the Eagles with 10 points. Natalie Hager (Franklin/Franklin) scored nine points off of the bench and also had four rebounds, two blocks, and one steal. Maria Photiades (Abottstown/Delone Catholic) chipped in eight points as did Rachel Anstine (York/Dallastown). Anstine led the Eagles in rebounds with six and also blocked two shots.
"We knew this was going to be a tough game and Scranton is a good team," said head coach Danny Young-Uhrich afterwards. "Its always good to have an opportunity to play against a ranked team. Whether you get your butts handed to you or not its always a good opportunity. For those young kids, they can see what it takes not just to be a good team but be a good team in the country."
The Royals led from start to finish. Scranton led by as much as 19-6 with 13:46 remaining in the first half. The Eagles were able to knock their deficit to eight points after a pair of free throws from Bailey Swogger (Belwood/Bellwood-Antis) and a three-point basket from Liz Wortman (Bellefonte/Bellefonte) at 12:40.
An 8-0 run by Scranton expanded its advantage to 27-11 at the 9:06 mark. Juniata narrowed the lead to 12 points, 27-15, with 6:51 left in the half. The Royals then embarked on a 16-6 run to close out the frame and lead 43-21 at halftime.
The Royals outscored the Eagles 38-26 in the second half. After a hot first half, Scranton cooled down a bit as it was 13-of-29 (44.8%) from the field.
Juniata will look to regroup when it returns to action next Saturday. The Eagles travel to King's Point, NY to take on Merchant Marine Academy. Game time will be at 2 p.m.