HUNTINGDON, Pa., After falling to Heidelberg University yesterday, the Juniata College women's basketball team was defeated by the Builders of the Apprentice School in the consolation game of the team's 9th annual Holiday Tournament sponsored by Comfort Inn. Juniata entered the tournament on a hot streak with a win over Gwynedd Mercy before the holiday break. Unfortunately, the team was not able to keep that momentum as they went 0-2 in the tournament after a 74-73 loss to the Builders earlier today.
Katy Leamer (Bellwood PA / Bellwood-Antis) scored a team-high 14 points off of the bench. The sophomore also led the Eagles with 10 rebounds to earn her first double double of the season. Natalie Hager (Franklin, PA / Franklin) led the starters with 12 points and six rebounds. Maria Photiades (Abottstown, PA / Delone Catholic HS) also finished the game with double-digit figures. The junior scored 10 points, adding three assists and three rebounds.
The Builders entered the game with three players averaging 10 or more points and nearly had three players with 20-point games. Kenya Wilkerson led her team with 23 points. She also finished with 7 seven rebounds and four steals. Ylexzis Traeger trailed her with 19 points and Jessica Neighbors chipped in 16.
Down 10-6 early, the Eagles tied the game at 12-all on a Danielle Atkinson (Lancaster, PA / Lancaster Catholic) layup. Minutes later, a jumper from Olivia Halfpenny (McVeytown, PA / Mifflin County) gave the team its largest advantage of the game at seven points with 9:53 left to play in the first half. Juniata would lead by six at the break.
The Builders tied the game at 44-44 in the second half and moments later took a two-point lead. However, it would not last as the Eagles regained the advantage with 11 minutes left in regulation. Juniata was unable to put the game away and hold off the Builders who went a head by one point with two minutes remaining in the game. Trailing 74-71 in the closing seconds of the contest, Halfpenny put up a trey that would have tied and sent the game to overtime, but the ball rimed out and Apprentice held on for the win.
Despite outshooting their opponent from the floor, the Blue and Gold was unable to come away with the victory today. Possession of the ball has continued to plague Juniata all season. The Eagles turned the ball over 21 times in today's game resulting in 30 points for Apprentice. Juniata's bench has continued to play well. The Eagles reserves scored 30 points in the game. Leamer and Halfpenny have done a good job coming off the bench for Juniata and did so again today.
Juniata falls to 2-8 overall (0-2 Landmark) on the season. The Eagles will return to action on Saturday January 3rd as they travel to Drew to continue conference play. Tip-off is set for 2 p.m.
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