BETHLEHEM, Pa. – The Moravian College men's basketball team fell to Landmark Conference rival Juniata College, 65-50, Saturday afternoon.
Senior guard Dan Sekulski would net the first points of the day for the Eagles (15-7, 7-4 Landmark) with a layup. A three-pointer from sophomore forward Brian Scholly would put Juniata up 5-0. A layup from senior forward Jeff Cullinan would get the Greyhounds (12-10, 7-4 Landmark) on the board, but a deep three from sophomore guard Kevin Stapleton put the Eagles up 8-2 three minutes in.
Senior center Austin Ankney would push Juniata's lead to eight points at 12-4 with 13 minutes to play in the first. Sophomore guard Jeremy Hays would connect on a reverse layup on the next possession to make the score 14-4. Freshman guard Kevin Pankonien would hit a three-pointer, and sophomore forward Cameron Cullen hit the easy layup to make the score 16-9, Juniata with ten minutes to play in the half.
Junior guard Garrett Johnson hit an open jumper to make the score cut Moravian's deficit to seven points at 18-11 with 7:27 left in the half. At the 5:45 mark, Scholly would hit a wide open three to extend the Eagles lead to 23-11. Cullinan responded on the next possession with a basket of his own to make the score 23-13.
Johnson would connect on a three-pointer to make the score 24-16 with 4:35 remaining in the half. He netted two free throws on the next possession to cut the Greyhounds deficit to 24-18. Junior forward Nate Higgins came back the other way with a strong layup to extend Juniata's lead 26-18. Junior guard D.J. Strayhorn would hit a rainbow three to make the score 26-21, Juniata with 3:21 remaining in the half.
Strayhorn hit another three two minutes later to cut the Eagles lead to four points at 28-24 with 1:47 left in the first half. The Eagles would then take a 28-26 lead into the locker room.
Moravian shot 38-percent from the field while Juniata shot 35-percent from the field in the half. The Eagles held the rebounding edge at 21 to 19, and they committed three less turnovers in the first half. Johnson led the Greyhounds with nine points and four rebounds while Scholly led Juniata with seven points in the first half.
Cullinan would knot the game back up at 28, after being down by as many as 12 points in the first half, with two made free throws to start the second half. Freshman guard Izel Dickerson would give Moravian a 31-28 lead, but junior guard Alex Raymond answered with a three of his own to tie the game at 31 a minute and half in.
Strayhorn would hit a three from the corner to give the Greyhounds a 34-33 lead with two and half minutes into the half. Back-to-back layups from Ankey and Higgins would push the Eagles lead to 39-34 with 14:38 left in the contest. Strayhorn responded with a jumper from the corner on the next possession.
Cullinan would go in strong and make the layup to cut the deficit to one point at 39-38 with 13 minutes to play. Higgins would hit a 15 foot jumper to put Juniata up 41-38 with 12 minutes left in the game.
Sekulski extended the Eagles lead to four points at 43-39 with a baseline jumper with 10:29 remaining in the game. Scholly nailed a deep three-pointer on Juniata next possession to push its lead to 46-39. Sekulski pushed the Eagles run to 7-0 for a 48-39 lead with 9:27 left in the contest.
Sophomore guard Kenny Gula would hit a three-pointer to end Juniata's scoring run and make the score 51-42 with 6:31 to play in the game. The teams would exchange baskets as the Eagles were holding onto a 13 point lead at 57-44 with 4:44 remaining in the game.
Strayhorn would drive to the basket and make the tough layup to bring the Hounds within 11 points of the lead at 57-46 with three minutes to play. Johnson would make a layup to make the score 57-48, Juniata with one minute to play. That would be the closest Moravian got, as they went on to lose 65-50.
Johnson finished with 12 points and eight rebounds while Strayhorn had 13 points and four assists. Cullinan had ten points, six boards and three blocks while Dickerson finished with six points and three rebounds.
The Eagles finished with five players with double figure points. Sekulski had 12 points and Stapleton totaled 11 points and ten rebounds. Raymond finished with 11 points while Scholly had ten points and four boards. Higgins had 11 points and nine boards.
Moravian shot 36-percent from the field while Juniata shot 42-percent from the field for the game. The Eagles out rebounded the Greyhounds 42 to 33 in the contest.
Moravian returns to action Friday, February 10th when they travel to Landmark Conference foe Drew University. The game is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.