Wilkes-Barre, Pa.- The Juniata men's basketball record-breaking season came to an end in the ECAC Quarterfinal against Neumann, 65-58, Friday afternoon at Wilkes University.
Marcus Lee (Carrolltown, Pa./Bishop Carroll) had 16 points and four rebounds. Seth Brewer (Lancaster, Pa./Manheim Township) had 14 points and five assists, Brandon Martinazzi (Cresson, Pa./Bishop Carroll) tallied 11 points and five rebounds while Damon Rickens (Altoona, Pa./Bishop Guilfoyle) had nine points and four rebounds. Wil Peralta (Hagerstown, Md./North Hagerstown) added two points, seven rebounds and three assists while Paul Martello (York, Pa./York Catholic) added six points off the bench.
Brewer found Lee for a layup for the first basket of the game. A Brewer layup made it 4-4 before the Knights tallied five quick points. A Martello three made it 9-7.
With nine minutes to go in the contest, Neumann had gone up 16-7. Back to back Lee layups followed by a Martinazzi three off a pass from Peralta made it 18-14. Peralta set Lee up for another bucket inside, Brewer split a pair of free throws and Martello sunk a triple to pull JC within two at 22-20. Neumann led 24-20 with under a minute to play before Brewer nailed a three off a pass from Rickens to send JC into the half down one, 24-23.
Two Rickens threes sandwiched around a Martinazzi jumper put the Eagles ahead 31-28 in the first two minutes of the second half. Brewer capped the run with another triple off a pass from Lee as JC led 34-28.
Juniata's only basket over the next seven minutes was a Brewer layup as Neumann pushed ahead, 41—36 with just under 12 minutes to go. A Rickens three tied the score, the Knights nailed a three of their own and Peralta made a jumper as the teams traded makes.
With three and half minutes left, Brewer converted an and-one to pull JC within three 53-50. After another Neumann make Lee rattled home a jumper to pull JC within two, 54-52. A 6-0 surge by the Knights made it 60-52 with fifty seconds left to go.
Martinazzi scored inside and the Eagles quickly called timeout. On the inbound, JC forced a turnover and Martinazzi scored again to narrow the deficit to four at 60-56. JC fouled and Neumann made both foul shots. Another Martinazzi layup brought narrowed the gap to four, JC fouled and Neumann again made both free throws. With 12 seconds left the Eagles got off a three, but it was off. Neumann split their last two foul shots to complete the score.
The Eagles end the season 23-5, the best record in program history.