The Juniata women’s basketball team bounced back from Saturday’s disappointing loss to take advantage of an opportunity and outscore visiting Penn State-Harrisburg 67-52 Tuesday evening.
The Eagles improve to 3-2 on the season, while the Lions slip to a 3-2 mark.
“I can honestly say this was a fun game because we were playing defense,” said Juniata coach Danny Young-Uhrich. “We’ve been working on some things and it’s good that we can feel some success. Right now, we’re right where I thought we would be.”
Averie Hess and Haily Sherman staked the Eagles to an early 5-0 lead. Cassie Mock added a bucket to make it 7-4 before Juniata started to open things up. Sherman started a six-point run, then added a basket to make it 15-9 at the end of the quarter.
The second quarter was only slightly faster paced. The Eagles made four three-point shots in a five minute span to open up a 31-18 advantage. After a three by the Lions’ Jenna Montana, a trey by Jamie Mahigel gave Juniata a 34-21 halftime lead.
Juniata kept its foot on the throttle in the third period, pushing its lead to 48-29 on a three-pointer by Dani Scipioni. A free throw by Mock gave Juniata a 20-point lead, but the Lions ran off five points before Sherman drained a three at the buzzer to make it 54-36.
The Eagles scored the first five in the fourth quarter to lead by 23, then a trey by Mock pushed the margin to a game-high 24 (62-38) with 6:53 left in the game.
Juniata promptly endured a nearly six-minute drought, but the Lions only scored 10 points to cut the deficit to 62-48. The Eagles outscored the Lions 5-4 over the final 1:19 to set the final score.
Sherman again was the leading scorer for Juniata, finishing with 19 points. She also collected 13 rebounds. Mock finished the contest with 16 points. Juniata hit just 23 of 73 shots (32 percent), but won the boards by a 50-40 margin. Grace Long had a team-high 15 rebounds.
The Lions were led by Kendis Butler with 16 points. She was the only player to reach double figures. Anna Mahan pulled down a team-high 11 rebounds. The Lions connected on 16 of 48 shots from the field (33 percent).
The Eagles will return to action next Wednesday when they travel to Elmira for a 6 p.m. start.