The Juniata men’s basketball team couldn’t keep up with Scranton in the second half as the visitors pulled away 79-55 Saturday afternoon inside Memorial Gymnasium on Senior Day.

The Royals came out on fire in the opening four minutes as they drilled four three’s and converted a layup to build an early 14-4 lead. Nathan Markey banked in a runner and Jake Holsopple scored inside in traffic while being fouled for the first two buckets for the Eagles. His fouled shot and on the next possession a Zach Engle layup off a nice pass by Nate DaCanal brought JC back within five.

The Royals extended the advantage to 10 with under 13 minutes to go prior to Nick Rigby (Huntingdon) finding John Kelly for a layup. Markey’s deep triple off a Kohl Bernarding assist made it 23-19 with just over nine minutes remaining in the half.

Scranton had pushed their lead back to 12 in the final seconds of the half. Juniata was inbounding under their hoop and Cameron Keck went the length of the floor, hung in the hair and banked in a layup to make it 40-30 at the break.

The Royals opened the second half on a 10-0 run and never looked back as the Eagles struggled to break through the Scranton press. The visitors outscored the Blue and Gold 39-25 in the second half as they moved to 9-3 in the Landmark Conference.

Juniata shot 51 percent from the field, but the Royals couldn’t miss as they shot 57 percent and 48 percent from three with 11 makes.

Juniata will travel to take on Elizabethtown Wednesday at 7 p.m.


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