HUNTINGDON, Pa. – Following the lead of sophomore Rachael Anstine (York, Pa. / Dallastown), the Juniata women's basketball team dominated Merchant Marine 72-50 on Senior Day Saturday.
Anstine recorded a career-high 32 points, along with six rebounds and three steals. The last Eagle to accomplish the feat of 30-plus points was current assistant coach Kate McDonald in 2013. McDonald recorded 34 points against Moravian.
"Rachael played lights out," head coach Danny Young-Uhrich said. "There was not one bad shot from her tonight. 32 points is pretty impressive and I hope she continues to play with the same level of confidence."
The Eagles finished the quarter on a layup from Katy Leamer (Altoona, Pa. / Bellwood-Antis) and took an 18-10 lead into the second period.
An 11-2 run, highlighted by 8 points from Anstine and a three from Sarah Sherman (Lansdale, Pa. / Methacton), made it 29-12 Juniata with 5:21 to play in the half.
JC forced 11 USMMA turnovers, recorded 16 defensive rebounds, five steals and two blocks in the first half. The strong defensive performance was complemented by the offensive effort. The Eagles were shooting at 45.5% (15-33) from the field and went 8-9 from the foul line.
The second half began much like the first, with a Juniata three. This time it was Dani Atkinson (Lancaster, Pa. / Lancaster Catholic) with the bucket. Atkinson finished the game with 13 points and four assists. Just three minutes into the third period, Atkinson would make a layup that put Juniata up by 26 points. JC notched their largest lead of the game at 5:24 in the period on a layup from Anstine that made it 54-26.
Juniata closed out the game strong and went on to win by a 72-50 final.
"They seemed to play a little inspired today and I hope they bring that Wednesday (versus Catholic)," Young-Uhrich said.
Natalie Hager (Franklin, Pa. / Franklin) recorded eight defensive rebounds on her way to a double-double. Hager totaled 11 points, 11 rebounds and three blocks against the Mariners.
Bailey Swogger (Tyrone, Pa. / Bellwood-Antis) led the Eagles in assists with six, while picking up five rebounds and three steals.
JC finished with a 34-22 advantage in the paint and 25-7 in points off turnovers.
Juniata will look to carry the momentum from today's complete performance into their final home game of the season. The Eagles take on the Catholic Cardinals Wed. Feb. 17 at 7 p.m.