Lancaster, Pa.- The #17 ranked Juniata women's basketball team opened the new year with a hard fought, back and forth, 62-57 win at Lancaster Bible, Wednesday evening.
Morgan Instone (Johnstown, Pa./Bishop McCort) had 14 points and 12 rebounds and Carmella Bickel (Elysburg, Pa./Lourdes Regional) added 12 points off the bench, scoring them all in the fourth quarter. Veronica Cosmopolis (Lima, Peru/Colegio Carmelitas) tallied nine points, four rebounds and four assists while Dani Atkinson (Lancaster, Pa./Lancaster Catholic) had nine points, 10 rebounds and three steals. Gracie Stauffer (Loysville, Pa./West Perry) had eight points and nine rebounds while Lexey Shick (Rimersburg, Pa./Union) had six points.
Two field goals from Instone, a Cosmopolis layup and a Rachael Anstine (York, Pa./Dallastown) layup put the Eagles up 8-3 over in the early goings. The Chargers locked the JC down the rest of the quarter, holding them two three points as Juniata trailed 13-11 after one.
Lancaster Bible led by five at times during the second, but Juniata managed to stay close throughout the quarter. Two threes' by Shick, one in the final 11 seconds, left the deficit at only two as JC trailed 28-26 at the half.
The Chargers scored the opening two buckets of the third before a Stauffer jumper followed by a Bethany Spencer (York, Pa./York Suburban) jumper made it 34-30. Lancaster Bible split a pair of free throws, Cosmopolis made a layup, Stauffer converted inside twice in a row, the second field goal giving the Eagles the lead back at 36-35. The Chargers would not go away, tying the score twice in the final five minutes of the third. Two Atkinson foul shots sent JC into the fourth with a 45-43 advantage.
The Chargers would not go away easy, and midway through the forth had retaken the lead, 52-49. Bickel went a on a personal 7-0- run, she scored on a layup, hit a jumper off an Atkinson assist to give JC the lead back at 53-52 and nailed a three after a timeout off a pass from Cosmopolis. The Chargers scored inside while being fouled and sunk the foul shot to make it 56-55, but Bickel was not done, sinking another three off another assist by Cosmopolis.
Juniata led 59-57 with under a minute remaining. The Chargers went to the foul line with 22 seconds left with a chance to tie, but missed both. Cosmopolis split her foul shots, so the Chargers had a chance to tie with 11 seconds left. JC smothered their shooters, a Lancaster Bible forced a three from the left corner that was way short. The Chargers grabbed the offensive rebound and were fouled, but missed both. Bickel made two foul shots to ice the game.
Juniata moves to 12-0 and will play their second conference game of the year at Catholic, Saturday at 4:00.