Madison, N.J.- The #17 Juniata women's basketball team last second game-tying jumper was too strong as they fell for the first time all year at Drew, 46-44, Saturday afternoon.
Bethany Spencer (York, Pa./York Suburban) tied a career-high with 12 points, and added six rebounds with three assists. Morgan Instone (Johnstown, Pa./Bishop McCort) amassed seven points, seven rebounds and four blocks. Gracie Stauffer (Loysville, Pa./West Perry) tallied seven points, seven rebounds and three blocks. Rachael Anstine (York, Pa./Dallastown) totaled five points and nine rebounds while Veronica Cosmopolis (Lima, Peru/Colegio Carmelitas) had five points, four rebounds and three steals.
Field goals from Cosmopolis, Instone and Spencer put JC up 6-2 in the first six minutes of the opening quarter. The teams traded the lead twice more before two Stauffer free throws pushed the Eagle lead to three as Juniata led 11-8 at the end of the quarter.
Neither team could get a shot to fall in the first three minutes of the second quarter, before a Ranger triple gave them the lead back at 12-11. Drew expanded their lead to 18-12 before a three from Spencer cut the deficit in half. The Rangers scored on a midrange jumper and Stauffer made a free throw as the Eagles trailed, 20-16, at halftime.
Both teams struggled from the floor in the first half, with Juniata shooting 20.8% from the floor while the Rangers shot 26.9%.
The teams traded buckets early, with a Cosmopolis three, and an Instone layup putting JC up one before a Ranger three made it 23-21 a minute and a half in. Two Instone foul shots followed by a Dani Atkinson (Lancaster, Pa./Lancaster Catholic) runner in the lane gave Juniata the lead back, 25-23. After Drew made two foul shots and a jumper, the Eagles went on a 14-2 run to close the quarter. Anstine made two layups, Spencer made a three, Stauffer scored inside after an offensive rebound and Haley Myers (Huntingdon, Pa./Juniata Valley) drilled a three off a pass from Spencer. JC led 37-29 after three.
Drew opened the fourth with a 11-3 surge that pulled them within one at 40-39, with 4:22 to go in the game. Two made foul shots a minute later gave the Rangers the lead back, 41-40. Anstine tied it up with a free throw of her own. The teams exchanged misses for the next two minutes, before Drew scored on a tough layup with 29 seconds left. JC missed their next shot, and fouled. The Rangers made both foul shots and Juniata called timeout with eight seconds left. Spencer nailed another three off a pass from Cosmopolis to keep the Eagles alive, and quickly fouled, with a single second left.
Drew missed the first, and made the second. The Eagles called timeout, which advanced the ball for them. Instone caught the ball just inside the arc, took a dribble towards the left elbow and fired, but her shot was too strong.
Juniata's first loss of the year means they are now 14-1 (3-1).
JC will host Susquehanna, Wednesday at 7:00.