Eagles Erase HT Deficit, Defeat Gophers

Marcus Lee tallied a career-high 37 points, including 11-13 from the line.
Marcus Lee tallied a career-high 37 points, including 11-13 from the line.

Towson, Md.- The Juniata men's basketball team picked up a big 82-71 win at Goucher, Wednesday evening at Decker SRC Arena. 

Marcus Lee (Carrolltown, Pa./Bishop Carroll) had a career-high 37 points and five rebounds. Seth Brewer (Lancaster, Pa./Manheim Township) tallied 16 points, eight assists and six rebounds while Paul Martello (York, Pa./York Catholic) added seven points off the bench. Wil Peralta (Hagerstown, Md./North Hagerstown) had six points, seven rebounds and three steals while Damon Rickens (Altoona, Pa./Bishop Guilfoyle) had six points and five assists. Noah Neville (Westminster, Md./North Carroll) chipped in with five points. 

Two Lee free throws opened the scoring for the Eagles. Following a Gopher layup, Brewer scored on a jumper and found Lee for a layup while being fouled. Lee made the free throw as JC led 7-2 in the opening three minutes. Goucher didn't go away, and over the next five minutes Juniata's lead was just one at 13-12 with just under 12 minutes to go.

The Gophers took the lead on a three as they went up 17-15 before a Lee layup and Brandon Martinazzi (Cresson, Pa./Bishop Carroll) three gave JC the lead back with seven and half minutes to go. The lead wouldn't last as in the last forty seconds of the half the Gophers nailed two threes' including one at the buzzer as Juniata trailed 32-28 at half. 

Four minutes in the second half Martello was fouled taking a three and drilled all three free throws to give the Eagles the lead back at 37-35. The Eagles tried to pull away over the next several minutes but the Gophers kept JC's lead in single digits.

Rickens made a pair of foul shots to make it 55-45 with a little over 10 minutes to go.

Juniata closed out the final 10 minutes with the lead never dropping to single digits and Goucher not closing within 10 until the final forty seconds.

This win marked the first time in program history the team won 20 games in the regular season. 

The Eagles will host Drew this Saturday, which is Senior Day. If they win, they can clinch the two seed in the Landmark Playoffs and a home game next Wednesday. Tipoff is 2:00 p.m.