Juniata men’s hoops advances to W&L Invitational championship with 59-45 win over Gettysburg

LEXINGTON, Va. – Juniata College men's basketball received double-digit scoring performances from three of its starters while shooting 48 percent from the field, on its way to a 59-45 win over Gettysburg College in Thursday's opening round of the Washington & Lee University Invitational at the Warner Center.

Jeremy Hays (McMechen, W.Va./John Marshall) netted 17 for the victorious Eagles (9-2), who advance to Friday's championship against the host squad from W&L. The Generals knocked off Methodist University, 83-57, in Thursday's other first round matchup.

Hays also logged four steals and dished out three assists to aid the Juniata cause.

Alex Raymond (Hollidaysburg, Pa./Altoona Area) added 11 points while Kevin Stapleton (Indiana, Pa./Indiana) tallied 10 points.

Brian Scholly (State College, Pa./State College Area), making his first game appearance since sustaining an injury against Lycoming College back on December 6, hauled down a team-high six rebounds for the Eagles, to go with his six points off the bench.

Juniata broke open what had been a one-possession game late in the first half. Leading 24-22 at the 7:29 mark of the opening frame, a pair of Hays foul shots jump-started a 9-0 Eagle run that was capped by Stapleton trey with 3:17 showing on the clock. That bucket left Juniata holding a 33-22 advantage, and the Eagles would outscore the Bullets 8-2 over the remainder of the half to take a 41-24 lead into the locker room at halftime.

The Eagles' lead reached its widest at 21 points, 51-30, following a Raymond 3-pointer at the 10:50 of the second half. Gettysburg would cut that margin down to 11 points with just under eight-and-a-half minutes remaining, but the Bullets would get no closer.

Gettysburg was paced by reserve forward Joe Emerusabe's 13 points, while Brendan Trelease led the starters with five points.  Five different Bullets finished with four points.

Juniata and W&L will tip-off at 4:00 p.m. at W&L's Warner Center in Lexington, Va.

-30-