MADISON, NJ- The Juniata women's basketball team couldn't overcome a slow start as they fell on the road to Drew, 72-55, Saturday afternoon at Baldwin Gymnasium.
Cassie Mock (Martinsburg, Pa. / Central Martinsburg) set up Grace Long (Harrisburg, Pa. / Central Dauphin) for a jumper before converting a jumper of her own as Juniata led 4-3 over the first minute and half of the game. The Rangers reeled off 11 straight points to jump ahead 14-4 over the next couple minutes before Madison Colyer (Newville, Pa. / Big Spring) nailed a jumper off a pass from Megan Haines (Bloomsburg, Pa. / Bloomsburg). Two free throws and a layup from the hosts push their lead over double digits again before Larissa Leonard (Three Springs, Pa. / Southern Huntingdon) found Colyer for another jumper. A Gracie Stauffer (Loysville, Pa. / West Perry) made it 22-10, but the Rangers swished a three at the buzzer to end the quarter up 15, 25-10.
The first six minutes of the quarter were even, with a layup by the Rangers putting their lead right back at 15, 31-16. Stauffer scored on a putback, Leonard made a jumper followed by a pair of free throws to bring Juniata within 10. Two more foul shots from Leonard sliced the deficit to single digits before the Rangers made a single foul shot before the half ended as the Eagles trailed by nine heading into the locker room.
Drew scored the first bucket of the half with a layup, with the Eagles countering with a Long layup off a pass from Stauffer while being hacked on the arm. She missed the ensuing free throw, but two possessions later, a steal by Stauffer ended saw Haines find Long for a triple that brought Juniata within six.
The hosts managed to push their lead back to 15 with another basket inside with four and a half minutes to go in the third. Averie Hess (Jersey Shore, Pa. / Jersey Shore) hit a jumper along the baseline off a pass from Kymiah Carpenter (Baltimore, Md. / Gerstell Academy) to try and stymie the run, but the Rangers kept scoring as the Eagles trailed by 17 at the end of three, 52-35.
The teams were even in the final frame, 20-20, as the Rangers cruised to their first conference win.
The Eagles will return home to take on Catholic, Wednesday at 7:00.