Huntingdon, Pa.- The Juniata women's basketball team pulled away late as they won, 58-51, at Susquehanna Wednesday evening at Memorial Gymnasium.
Dani Atkinson (Lancaster, Pa./Lancaster Catholic) had 13 points, four rebounds and four assists while Rachael Anstine (York, Pa./ Dallastown) had 10 points, five rebounds, four assists and two steals. Gracie Stauffer (Loysville, Pa./West Perry) tallied 10 points and six rebounds off the bench. Bethany Spencer (York, Pa./York Suburban) added nine points and three assists while Morgan Instone (Johnstown, Pa./Bishop McCourt) contributed six points and five rebounds.
Susquehanna jumped out to a 9-4 lead in the first three minutes, with Instone scoring all four points for the Eagles in the paint. Anstine drilled a three off a pass from Spencer to give JC the lead at 10-9. The teams went back and forth, with the River Hawks scoring the final bucket of the first as they led 15-14 after one.
Down 17-14 early, a Kaeana Rebert (Hanover, Pa./South Western) offensive rebound and layup followed by a Instone put back layup put the Eagles up 18-17. An Anstine three off an assist from Rebert pushed the lead to four. A three from Haley Myers (Huntingdon, Pa./Juniata Valley) made it 34-28 with just under a minute to go. The River Hawks scored on a jumper for the final points of the half as the Eagles led 34-30.
The teams struggled to find offense in the third, as both defenses locked things down for the most part. With two and half minutes left Susquehanna pulled even at 37. Makayla Carles (Tyrone, Pa./Bellwood-Antis) hit a three off a pass from Spencer, but the River Hawks responded with a three of their own as the teams went into the fourth tied at 40.
Neither team scored over the first three minutes, before three straight Stauffer layups put the Eagles ahead 46-44 with just over five minutes to go. Susquehanna cut the lead to two before an Anstine put back, an Atkinson three and a Stauffer free throw made it 53-46. Another Atkinson three made it 56-47 with a minute and half left, and the Eagles cruised to victory from there.
The River Hawks held a narrow 35-31 edge on the glass. Juniata shot 37.9% from the floor and 40.0% (10-25) from three while Susquehanna shot 40.8% from the floor and 25.0% from three.
The Eagles will play at conference leading Scranton, Saturday at 4:00.