The Juniata women’s basketball team hung tough, but couldn’t quite catch Catholic in a 78-66, Wednesday evening at Franny Murray Court.

Madison Colyer scored the opening six points for the Eagles on a layup and two jump shots. Larissa Leonard (Southern Huntingdon) assisted the first bucket, and Cassie Mock assisted the final two. Colyer’s putback layup four minutes into the game made it 8-4, but the Cardinals clawed ahead in the next minute. Abigail E’Nama’s layup brought JC back within two 12-10. A Mock three off a pass from Averie Hess made it 16-15 with two minutes to go in the first. Gracie Stauffer scored on an offensive rebound which made it 19-17, but the Cardinals scored the final points as they led by four after one.

Mock made a three off a pass from Colyer, the Cardinals answered with a three of their own, and Grace Long followed a triple of her own, but the Cardinals made another three to push their back to four. Long drilled a three for the fourth straight three of the quarter to bring the team back within one. Catholic scored on a layup, and the teams went cold from the field for several minutes before Colyer made a jumper off a pass from Stauffer to bring the Eagles back within four. The Cardinals wound up leading by six heading into the locker room at half time.

The Cardinals pushed their lead to as many as 11 midway through the third, but the Eagles didn’t go away. A Stauffer putback cut the deficit back to single digits, and later Mock’s foul shot was the final point of the third as the Eagles trailed by nine, 57-48 at the end of three.

Catholic came flying out to start the fourth as they led by as many as 18 in the first three minutes, and the Eagles couldn’t recover as they never got closer than 10 in the final minutes.

Juniata shot better from the floor, 43.3 to 39.1 percent, but the Cardinals got way more trips to the foul line as they went 22-29 to JC’s 4-9.

Juniata will host No. 16 Scranton Saturday at 4 p.m.

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