February 10, 2012

Cardinals upended by Eagles 76-68

HUNTINGDON, Pa. – CUA suffered a tough 76-68 loss at Juniata on Friday evening to drop the Cardinals to 16-7 overall and 6-6 in the Landmark Conference.  The teams were tied at 64 with 2:27 to play before the Eagles outscored the Cardinals 12-4 down the stretch to earn their 16th win.

After Juniata led by two at the half, Chris Kearney scored on CUA's first possession following the break to tie things at 38.

Another Kearney layup, this one coming at the 16:56 mark, put the Cardinals on top by five, and after Billy Donovan drilled a 3-pointer with 12:32 to play, CUA had a seven-point lead.

A 9-2 run by Juniata ensued, which tied the game at 55 with 6:41 left, but Donovan hit another trifecta to put the Cardinals in front by three at the 4:46 mark.

Later, CUA trailed 64-60 with 3:35 to play following an Alex Raymond 3-pointer.  Back-to-back layups by Derek Puhalski and Shawn Holmes then knotted the score at 64 with 2:27 on the clock.

Six straight Juniata points gave the home team a 70-64 advantage with 35 seconds remaining, and CUA was unable to get any closer than five the rest of the way.

Kearney finished with a game-high 21 points on 8 of 11 shooting, to go along with seven rebounds and three blocks, while Holmes also knocked down 8 of 11 shots en route to 20 points.  

CUA shot 56% for the game, including a sizzling 58% in the first half. The Cardinals did commit 20 turnovers on the night, while Juniata finished with just eight.  That led to a 15-7 lead in points off turnovers for the Eagles.

Five Juniata players finished in double figures, led by Dan Sekulski with 17 points, while Kevin Stapleton pulled down five rebounds and Alex Raymond dished out eight of the team's 16 assists. 

Juniata went to the free throw line 28 times, but converted only 19 tries (68%).

The Cardinals rode their early hot shooting to a 16-6 lead following a Holmes 3-pointer at the 12:45 mark of the first half.

Eight straight points by Juniata cut the CUA lead to two with 11:06 to play before halftime, and Nate Higgins' layup at the 10:08 mark tied things at 18.

Holmes' shot from downtown at the 2:56 mark put the Cardinals on top by four, but the Eagles scored 10 of the final 14 points to take a 38-36 lead into the locker room.

On Saturday, the Cardinals travel to Selinsgrove, Pa. to face the Susquehanna Crusaders.  Game time is set for 4 p.m.

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