By: Jennifer Jones
Director of Sports Information
email@example.com • juniatasports.net
Photo: Jennifer Jones
GRANTHAM, Pa. – Juniata women's basketball won the Messiah Tip-Off Tournament Saturday night after upsetting the host Falcons 63-54 in the championship game. Seniors Jordan Hileman (Williamsburg, Pa./Williamsburg) and Kate McDonald (Pennsylvania Furnace, Pa./State College Area) recorded their second double-doubles of the season combining for 34 points and 27 rebounds in the win. McDonald was named tournament MVP and Hileman earned a spot on the all-tournament team.
"They scouted us well," said head coach Danny Young-Uhrich. "Messiah had some good players and a good crowd. We weathered some adversity. The kids really responded."
Two starters were in foul trouble early for the Eagles and freshman Katy Leamer (Altoona, Pa./Bellwood-Antis) answered the call down the bench. The forward earned a career-high 11 points going 4-for-6 from the floor, 3-for-3 from three-point range.
"Katy came in and stepped up," Young-Uhrich added. "She kept us in the first half."
Leamer put in 30 minutes of total work after coming into the contest early. With less than five minutes remaining in the first half and Messiah up by six, she hit back-to-back three's to spark an 11-2 run for the Eagles heading into the break.
Juniata led 31-27 at the half having out-rebounded the Falcons 26-13. They would go up by as much as 11 in the second half before Messiah made a run. The Falcons pulled within three with under 2:30 to play. But the Eagles held them scoreless and pushed six more points to earn the win.
"They are being shoved into roles and when game time rolls around, they are stepping up," Young-Uhrich said of her young team. "They play with poise and confidence. But it's only game two. We still have a ways to go."
The Eagles open at home on Wednesday, Nov. 20 at 6 p.m. against Frostburg State. Juniata trails the all-time series against Frostburg but has won the last two meetings.
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