THE HEADLINE: Backed by five double-digit performances, Juniata earns their first conference win of the 2016-17 season with a 79-60 victory over the Goucher Gophers on Wednesday, Jan. 11.
5 Bethany Spencer (York, Pa./York Suburban)
21 Katy Leamer (Altoona, Pa./Bellwood-Antis)
22 Bailey Swogger (Tyrone, Pa./Bellwood-Antis)
30 Dani Atkinson (Lancaster, Pa./Lancaster Catholic)
42 Kelly Leamer (Altoona, Pa./Bellwood)
FIRST HALF: Goucher put itself on the board on a drive right off of the tip. From there, the Gophers scored on three more straight possessions. Swogger and Katy Leamer scored in between two Gopher layups but they still held an 8-4 lead over the Eagles.
Atkinson cut the lead to 8-6 with 6:19 left to play in the first quarter. However, Goucher answered with its own layup. Swogger made two layups and Goucher made two free throws making the score 12-10 in Goucher's favor.
Holding a five-point lead, Katy Leamer made sure the Gophers stayed off the board with a defensive rebound. She then attempted a three-pointer. On the miss, Spencer pulled down the offensive rebound and completed a put-back. With her bucket, Juniata took a 24-17 lead early in the second quarter.
Starting with a three-pointer by Bri Wasser (Ebensburg, Pa./Central Cambria) and with contributions from Spencer, Morgan Instone, Wasser again and Swogger, the Eagles extended their lead to 11. After a Goucher free throw, Juniata led the Gophers 34-24 at the end of the half.
SECOND HALF: Kelly Leamer and Swogger extended the JC lead to 38-24 almost immediately in the third quarter. Despite tallying up points, the Gophers brought themselves into contention, shrinking Juniata's lead to seven points.
That's when Rachael Anstine (York, Pa./Dallastown) began to tally up some points of her own. With her pair of free throws, a block, defensive rebound, and two layups, Anstine helped lift Juniata to a 49-40 lead while the Gophers were fighting back.
Atkinson and Myers followed suit with layups of their own. Despite two Goucher free throws, Juniata was ahead 53-42 at the end of the third quarter.
KEY PERFORMANCES: In a crucial third quarter run, Anstine tallied up nine points for the Eagles. She helped them to get stops, pull ahead and remain ahead for the rest of the game. She totaled ten points overall, shooting 3-for-6 in the field, 1-for-2 behind the three-point line and 3-for-4 at the free throw line. She also racked up five rebounds, two offensive and three defensive, and two blocks.
Atkinson (15), Wasser (11), Myers (10) and Swogger (10) each played a big part in the win with their double-digit performances.
Spencer tallied up a game-high six assists. The junior guard also pulled down five rebounds.
WHAT'S NEXT?: Juniata is rounding out their three-game home stand on Saturday, Jan. 14 against Drew. The women will play at 2 p.m., followed by the men at 4 p.m.