READING, Pa.- The Juniata men's basketball team went cold from the field in the second half as they lost on the road to Alvernia, 72-52, Sunday evening.
Brandon Martinazzi (Cresson, Pa. / Bishop Carroll) had a hand in the first three Eagle buckets. He scored on a layup before he setup Cameron Keck (Waynesboro, Pa. / Waynesboro) and Nick Albert (Herndon, Va. / Westfield High) for threes. Albert found Paul Martello (York, Pa. / York Catholic) for another as Juniata led 11-9 in the opening five minutes of the contest.
Albert stole the ball and the Eagles took advantage a few seconds later as Martello drilled another three off a pass from Martinazzi. Keck's second trey of the contest off an assist from Martello made it 17-9.
A free throw from Jacob Holsopple and a Marcus Hall (York, Pa. / Trinity) layup pushed the Eagle lead back to six, 20-12 with a little over 11 minutes to go in the half.
The Golden Wolves pulled within one, 22-21 with a little over five minutes left before Martello's third three and a foul shot from Ethan Haupt (Duncansville, Pa. / Hollidaysburg) made it 26-21.
Alvernia pulled even, 26-26 with just over three minutes to go in the half. Keck made a three with 27 seconds to go in the half off Martinazzi's fifth assist of the half to send Juniata into the locker room up, 29-26.
The teams went back and forth over the opening minutes of the second half, with the Golden Wolves taking their first lead since early in the first half, 35-33, four and half minutes in. Juniata pulled even twice, first on a Hall layup and Martinazzi's foul shots made it 37-37 a minute later.
But Alvernia went on a 25-5 run over the next nine minutes as they led 62-42 with five and half minutes remaining, which proved to be too much for the Eagles to overcome.
Alvernia held a 39-23 advantage on the boards and a 20-7 advantage in second chance points.
Juniata begins conference play next Saturday, December 1st, at Susquehanna. Tipoff is 4:00.