HUNTINGDON, Pa. – A 25-6 second-half run from the Susquehanna women's basketball team cut what had been a 21-point Juniata lead to two points late in the contest, but unfortunately the Eagles closed out the game on a scoring streak to come away with the 70-60 win.
The Crusaders' (6-12, 1-6) scoring spurt was capped off by several field goals by senior Shannon Grunwald (Neshanic Station, N.J. / Somerville) and a three-pointer by sophomore Eleni Dimou (Center Valley, Pa. / Southern Lehigh) that cut the Eagle lead to two with only 5:40 left in the contest.
However, the moment swung right back to Juniata (14-4, 5-2) who used a 15-7 run to end the game.
Senior Gina Palazzi (Newfoundland, Pa. / Wallenpaupack Area) had a team-high 20 points behind 8-of-16 shooting. She also grabbed a game-high and season best 13 boards, had two blocks and three steals.
Grunwald scored 16 points off the bench, shooting 7-for-11, and recorded six boards. Junior Candence Cannady (Chicago, Ill. / Whitney M. Young Magnet) contributed eight points and six rebounds in the defeat. The Crusaders out-rebounded Juniata 42-38 and the SU bench outscored the Eagles, 25-17.
Five minutes into the game, Juniata had jumped out to a 12-3 lead thanks in part to a 7-1 run to open the first half.
Less than two minutes later, that lead increased to 17-3 until Grunwald sank a three that was followed by a Palazzi jump shot that made it 17-8 with 11:48 on the clock. Juniata was able to counter with a 5-0 stretch for a 22-8 score with just over nine minutes to play in the opening period.
SU was able to score six of the next eight points for a 10-point ballgame (24-14) and remained within 11, 33-22, inside the three-minute mark of the half. The Crusaders, however, still found themselves down 40-22 at halftime.
Juniata maintained a sizeable lead, including a 21-point advantage 49-28, with 13:12 to play. But the Crusaders used those 13 minutes to chip away at that lead and in fact pulled within just two before the Eagles sealed the win.
The women return to the court on Saturday with a 2 p.m. game at Drew. SU dropped the first meeting this season, 62-52 in overtime.