WASHINGTON, D.C.- The Juniata men's basketball team was out to exact some revenge on Landmark rival Catholic for an earlier loss this month on their home floor. The Eagles were able to follow through as they defeated the Cardinals 81-71 on Saturday afternoon at the Raymond A. Dufour Athletic Center. It was the first road win for JC at Catholic since February 2009.
Winners of two straight Landmark games, the Eagles' record now sits at 11-8 overall and 3-5 in the conference. The Cardinals, who have lost three games in a row, drop to 13-6 and 5-3 in the Landmark.
Juniata was buoyed by a season-best 62.5 shooting percentage (10-of-16) from beyond the three-point arc. The Eagles also committed a season-low seven turnovers.
The Eagles led 13-6 with 15:39 remaining in the first half. Nine of those 13 points came via the three-point shot. JC built its lead to 21-12 with 11:02 remaining in the half. A 6-0 run by Catholic cut the Eagles' advantage to 21-18. A 9-0 run by Juniata, aided by three pointers from Damon Rickens (Altoona, Pa./Bishop Guilfoyle) and Paul Martello (York, Pa./York Catholic), raised the JC lead to 29-18 at 5:33. Catholic was able to cut it down to two points, 30-28, with 1:53 left. Trevor Clune's (Meadville, Pa./Meadville Area) layup with 1:38 remaining was the final basket of the half as JC went into the locker room up 32-28.
Marcus Lee (Carrolltown, Pa./Bishop Carroll) started off the second half of play with a layup to boost Juniata's lead to 34-28. Three-point baskets by Catholic's Louis Khouri and Andre Mitchell tied the game up at 34-34 at 18;42. That was part of a 12-2 Cardinal run, with all shots coming via the three-pointer, as the hosts now led 40-36 at 17:06.
A trey by Clune started an 8-0 run by the Eagles to give them back the lead, 44-40, at 13:55. A traditional three-point play from Jay Howard coupled with a three and a pair of free throws from Jimmy Golaszewski put Catholic back on top by four points with 10:31 to play. Juniata then went on a game-changing run as it outscored Catholic 21-7 to jump ahead 67-55 with 3:21 remaining. Prior to Jay Howard's jumper at 3:35, the Cards were 0-3 during that stretch. Catholic would never pose a threat again as the Eagles were able to secure the victory.
Five Eagles reached double-digits in scoring. Both Rickens and Brandon Martinazzi (Cresson, Pa./Bishop Carroll) scored 17 points. Rickens added seven rebounds and three assists while Martinazzi added two rebounds, two steals, and one assist. Seth Brewer (Lancaster, Pa./Manheim Township) and Lee tacked on 12 each. Brewer's eight rebounds were a season-high and he also came away with three assists and two steals. Martello had 11 points in 18 minutes off of the bench with three rebounds and three assists.
Juniata lost in the rebound department 35-33. Both teams had 10 points off of turnovers and 14 points from its respective benches.
The Eagles next head to Selinsgrove on Wednesday to face off with #11 Susquehanna. It will be a rematch of January 18's game in Huntingdon that the River Hawks won 74-59. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:00 p.m.