Juniata Holds Off W&J Late To Remain Undefeated
WASHINGTON, Pa. – Alex Raymond’s three-point play with 1:40 remaining helped lift Juniata to a 74-66 men’s basketball victory over Washington & Jefferson on Tuesday evening at the Henry Memorial Center.
The Eagles (4-0), who trailed by as many as 13 in the first half, made nine of their 11 free throw attempts in the final two minutes to seal the win.
W&J (2-2) raced out to a 16-5 lead in the first five minutes behind a trio of baskets from junior guard Zach Bellhy (McDonald, Pa./Fort Cherry).
Juniata fought back to tie the game, but a 15-2 W&J spurt pushed the Presidents’ lead to 39-26 with 3:54 left. Bellhy had eight points during the second run, while senior guard Uchenna Okocha (Cleveland Heights, Ohio/University School) added five before the Eagles trimmed the halftime gap to 42-36.
Juniata outscored the Presidents by a 13-1 margin in the first six minutes of the second half to grab a 49-43 lead. The game was tight over the next 11 minutes with four ties, but the Presidents were unable to gain the lead back.
Freshman guard Andy Carter (North Huntingdon, Pa./Norwin) brought W&J to within 63-61 with 1:48 left, but Raymond’s runner in the lane and free throw that followed was the key play of the game. Juniata iced the game from the free throw line.
Carter paced the Presidents with 22 points (7-12 shooting), nine rebounds and two steals. Bellhy added 15 points, eight rebounds and three blocks, while sophomore point guard Brett Rubin-Goldstein (Pittsburgh, Pa./Fox Chapel) totaled eight points and dished out a career-high seven assists.
W&J shot 42 percent overall (22-of-52), including 54 percent in the first half (15-of-28).
Jeremy Hays led four Eagles in double figures with 14 points. Nate Higgins provided a double-double with 12 points and 13 rebounds. The Eagles shot 43 percent (26-of-60) and held a 40-32 rebounding edge.
W&J looks to snap its two-game losing streak on Saturday at Muskingum (3:00 pm).