Eagles Topple Tomcats to Open the Season

Grace Long

WESTMINSTER, Md.- The Juniata women's basketball used an explosive third quarter to blow the game wide open as they won handily, 80-56, in their season opener against Thiel, Friday night at the McDaniel Tipoff Tournament. 

Larissa Leonard (Three Springs, Pa. / Southern Huntingdon) grabbed the ball after Gracie Stauffer (Loysville, Pa. / West Perry) won the tip, dribbled up the left side of the court and drilled a three from the left wing to put the Eagles ahead. The Tomcats tallied seven points over the next three minutes while holding the Eagles scoreless to jump ahead. Averie Hess (Jersey Shore, Pa. / Jersey Shore) found Grace Long (Harrisburg, Pa. / Central Dauphin) in the left corner and she sunk another three to end the drought. Five points from Stauffer and a foul shot from Long over the next couple minutes helped put JC ahead, 14-11, with just under four minutes to go. The teams continued to trade buckets as the Eagles led, 21-18, after one.  

The teams remained close midway through the second as a Tomcat three sliced the JC advantage to four. Cassidy Arnold (York, Pa. / Eastern York HS) split a pair of foul shots, Stauffer found Leonard for another three and Hess found Long for her second triple as the Eagle lead grew to 11. Two Long free throws and one from Hess sent the Eagles into the locker room ahead by 13, 42-29.  

Juniata completely dominated the third as they won the quarter, 27-8,  as they shot 69.2 percent from the floor and a perfect 9-9 from the free-throw line. Madison Colyer (Newville, Pa. / Big Spring) stuffed the stat sheet in the third as she tallied two points, five rebounds, three assists, and three steals to lead the way.  

Juniata cruised the rest of the way to an 80-56 win.