HUNTINGDON, Pa. – The Juniata women's basketball team fell 76-56 in their home finale against Catholic Wednesday night.
The Eagles had a strong opening performance and held the lead for most of the first quarter. Catholic held only a one-point advantage (18-17) going into the second period.
The Cardinals dominated the second quarter and outscored Juniata 27-9. The Eagles picked up a three from Dani Atkinson (Lancaster, Pa. / Lancaster Catholic) and Natalie Hager (Franklin, Pa. / Franklin) at the midway point but the buckets did little to take momentum away from CUA.
Katy Leamer (Altoona, Pa. / Bellwood-Antis) caught fire in the third period and knocked in three three-pointers to help cut into Catholic's lead. The Eagles defense held the Cardinals to 1-12 (8.3 percent) shooting from the field, picked up 10 rebounds and four steals in the third. Katy Leamer led the offense with nine points, while Kelly Leamer (Altoona, Pa. / Bellwood-Antis) followed with five. JC outscored the Cards 16-11 and cut their lead down to 14.
The fourth quarter opened with a three from Kelly Leamer and Juniata had made it an 11-point game with 9:24 to play. Catholic put away quick buckets and tightened their defense to pull away once more and went on to win by a final score of 76-56.
Katy Leamer finished the game with 17 points and six rebounds to lead the Eagles. Natalie Hager followed with 13 points, nine rebounds and four assists. Kelly Leamer also scored double digits, putting up 10 points and five rebounds. Dani Atkinson recorded nine points, led the team with five steals and picked up two assists.
With tonight's top scorers coming off the bench, Juniata held a 29-27 advantage over Catholic in points off the bench. They finished the game shooting 37 percent from the field, 42.9 from the three-point arch and 70 percent from the foul line.
The Eagles got into foul trouble and Catholic took advantage of their opportunities. The Cardinals went 25-33 (75.8 percent) from the line.
Juniata finishes their season on the road Sat. Feb. 20 at Moravian. Tipoff is set for 4:00 p.m. following the men's game at 2:00 p.m.