Saints women's comeback comeback bid falls short at No. 25 Juniata
Saturday, December 30, 2017 - 8:51 am

The St. Lawrence women's basketball team rallied for two close comebacks but 25th- ranked Juniata College topped the Saints 54-49 in their first game of the Juniata Holiday Classic Friday afternoon in Huntingdon, Pennsylvania.

With the loss, the Scarlet and Brown fell to 4-4, while the Eagles improved to 10-0 on the season.

The Saints were led by first-year Katie Frederick with nine points and 11 rebounds, while senior Cara Waterson added another nine points. Meghan O'Connor recorded eight points, while Marlee Gunn and Kaelyn Kohlasch tallied six and five respectively. O'Connor also added six rebounds.

St. Lawrence rallied, out shooting the Eagles 13-11 in the second quarter and 13-10 in the fourth, and evenly matching their 16 points in the third, but were unable to erase the 10-point deficit in the first quarter.

Juniata controlled the scoreboard for the entirety of the game, jumping out to a 17-7 lead after the first ten minutes of play.

An eight-point run, capped by a layup from O'Connor, drew the Saints within two points with just over three minutes to play in the second quarter. However, the Eagles regained momentum with a steal from Carmella Bickel to lead 28-20 at halftime.

Despite an evenly scored third quarter, Juniata held a double-digit lead for the majority of the 10 minutes, only allowing the Saints within eight points.

Jenny Scudder hit a 3-pointer closing the gap to five points with about eight and a half minutes to play. Frederick made a fast break in the paint to bring the game within two points for the second time and final time.

Rachael Anstine made two free throws and Haley Myers added a 3-pointer to regain control for the Eagles with 1:29 to play.

"I'm very proud tonight but not satisfied," said head coach Dan Roiger. "I'm proud because we went toe to toe with a ranked team, on the road, and had it at two points several possessions in the final minutes. Our effort and chemistry were outstanding. I'm not satisfied, because I know we can get even better if we can improve our mental toughness. Playing so many young players I expect some breakdowns, but we want to grow throughout the season. We are seeing the growth, we just want to keep moving forward."

Juniata was led by Dani Atkinson with 16 points and four rebounds. Anstine added 12 and Morgan Instone recorded nine points and a team-high 10 rebounds. Gracie Stauffer led the Eagles with five blocks.

The Saints will close the 2017 portion of their schedule against Gwynedd Mercy in the consolation game tomorrow, December 30th at 12 p.m.