Lions Tamed 87-57 in CVC Championship Game
11/21/2015 — HUNTINGDON, Pa. - A big second half by Juniata College helped the Eagles defeat Penn State Altoona men's basketball 87-57 in the Coaches vs. Cancer championship game on Saturday afternoon in the Kennedy Sports Center.
Jordan Smith (Pittsburgh, PA/Taylor Allderdice) led all scorers with 17 points. Javon Wilson (Washington, D.C./T.C. Williams) added nine points.
Anton Lucas (Alexandria, VA/Mount Vernon) was the Lions' top rebounder with seven boards.
Penn State Altoona (1-1) trailed 34-26 at the half, but that deficit expanded as Juniata (3-0) put up 53 points in the second half compared to the Lions' 31 points in the period.
"It was a tough loss, but we have to give credit to Juniata for putting it on us," said Penn State Altoona head coach Doug West. "They played very well on defense and shared the ball on offense."
The Lions held a lead early in the game. Lucas' three-point play at 18:42 put his team up 3-2, and Smith's layup at 16:27 made it 9-6.
But an 8-0 Juniata run, capped by Damon Rickens' three-pointer at 12:33, put the home team ahead 14-9. Nate Ogle's layup and Seth Brewer's trey helped increase the Eagles' advantage to 28-19 by 7:07, and Brandon Martinazzi's fastbreak bucket at 2:33 upped his team's lead to 34-23.
"I thought we came out strong and were able to get good looks early, but we were unable to convert," said West. "Once we got into foul trouble, they executed on both ends of the floor and we were a few steps slow."
Juniata broke the game open in the second half. Three-pointers by Kyle Koehler and Seth Brewer, along with Marcus Lee's jumper, helped the Eagles start the period on an 8-0 burst that increased their lead to 42-26. Koehler connected from beyond the arc again at 13:17 to make it an 18-point game, 49-31.
The Eagles kept it coming later in the period. Martinazzi converted on a three-point play at 9:15 that gave Juniata a 61-40 lead, and Rickens' transition score at 8:47 made it 63-40. The home team went on to lead by as many as 31 points.
"We have to get better on the defensive end of the floor. We have to commit to playing harder and more together," West asserted. "Giving up 167 points in two games is unacceptable, and I will get it corrected over the break. It's a learning experience for us, and we just need to get better. Juniata was the better team tonight."
The Lions now head into Thanksgiving break, with their next contest coming on Monday, November 30 at non-conference opponent Wilson College. That game tips off at 7:00 PM.
Notes: Penn State Altoona juniors Smith and Wilson were both named to the Coaches vs. Cancer All-Tournament Team at the conclusion of the weekend's games on Saturday. Smith averaged 20.5 points per game and 6.5 rebounds per game, while Wilson averaged 15.5 points per game and 2.5 rebounds per game.
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