Washington, D.C.- The Juniata women's basketball team won in overtime at Catholic, 61-54, Saturday afternoon at the DeFour Center.
Dani Atkinson (Lancaster, Pa./ Lancaster Catholic) had 17 points, nine rebounds and three steals while Bethany Spencer (York, Pa./York Suburban) had 12 points as she made a career-high four three-pointers. Morgan Instone (Johnstown, Pa./Bishop McCort) totaled 12 points, seven rebounds and two blocks while Carmella Bickel (Elysburg, Pa./Lourdes Regional) added 11 points, five rebounds and three assists. Gracie Stauffer (Loysville, Pa./West Perry) had three points, nine rebounds, four assists and two blocks. Rachael Anstine (York, Pa./Dallastown) did a bit of everything, notching six points, six rebounds, two assists, two steals and a block.
Instone found an open Spencer who knocked down the triple to give JC a 3-0 lead. Neither team would score over the next several minutes as both defenses were airtight. The Cardinals eventually scored to make it 3-2. Later in the quarter, back to back buckets by Instone, the second she made while being fouled and converted the foul shot, as JC went up 8-6. Catholic began to find their feet offensively, and by the end of the quarter JC trailed, 15-10.
The second quarter was a back and forth affair as Catholic would extend their lead to five or six, but JC always had an answer as they sliced the deficit to two three different times. With under a minute left in the half, Catholic pushed their lead to eight. Bickel setup Atkinson for a three in the final 15 seconds to cut the deficit back to five as JC trailed, 29-24, at the half.
The third quarter opened with the Cardinal lead extending to six at 32-26 at the 8:15 mark. A minute later, Spencer hit another three. Neither team scored until Spencer hit her third three, this time off a pass from Veronica Cosmopolis (Lima, Peru/ Colegio Carmelitas) which tied the game. The Cardinals scored on their next two possessions to go up 36-32. On the next JC possession, Atkinson grabbed an offensive rebound, kicked it to Anstine who tossed it over to Bickel who drilled a three to make it a one point game. Catholic scored via a layup, Stauffer scored inside and the Cardinals struck again in the paint as they led heading into the fourth, 40-37.
The Cardinals scored the first bucket of the final period, pushing their lead to five. Spencer nailed her fourth three of the game off a pass from Bickel to make it 42-40. Catholic led 46-40, with a little over four minutes to go. Atkinson scored on a put back, Bickel made a three and Instone scored on a layup inside with 2:07 to go which gave Juniata a 47-46 lead, their first lead since the first quarter. Neither team scored until Stauffer made a foul shot with 30 seconds left. The Cardinals called time, and wound up scoring on a layup to tie the game. With 18 seconds left JC called time. After the timeout, Instone got the ball in the paint and got shot off in traffic that rolled around the before falling off the rim, forcing OT.
The Eagles won the tap, Spencer grabbed the ball and quickly found Instone for an easy two. Catholic split a pair of foul shots to get within one at 50-49. Atkinson nailed a jumper from the right wing, the Cardinals scored, and Stauffer grabbed her own miss and hit a cutting Atkinson who laid it in off the glass as JC went back up by three 54-51. Catholic split another set of free throws before Bickel sunk a runner in the paint that hit the back rim and just fell in to make it 56-52 with 2:00 to go in the extra period. Anstine drilled a jumper from the right wing which made it 58-52, and Catholic called timeout. The Cardinals scored again to make it 58-54, forced an Eagle turnover, and drew a foul to get to the line. However, they missed both foul shots with forty seconds left in the game. JC got the rebound, and went three for four down the stretch to get the win, 61-54.
Juniata made seven more three's than Catholic and grabbed 13 more rebounds.
The Eagles next play at Goucher, Wednesday at 7:00.