Cardinals' Comeback Falls Short in 60-58 Loss at Juniata

Cardinals' Comeback Falls Short in 60-58 Loss at Juniata

HUNTINGDON, Pa. - Gracie Stauffer's three-point play with 2.8 seconds remaining lifted Juniata to a 60-58 victory over the Catholic University women's basketball team Wednesday in a crucial Landmark Conference contest at Memorial Gymnasium.

With the loss, the Cardinals (13-9, 5-6 Landmark) find themselves in sixth place in the conference standings with three games remaining, two places behind the final spot in the 2019 Landmark Conference Women's Basketball Championship. Catholic is one game behind Moravian and Drew who are currently tied for fourth.

The Cards trailed 47-37 with 7:32 remaining in the fourth quarter before a 9-0 run pulled them within one with 5:44 left. Freshman Luca Mamula scored four of her team-high 15 points during the run while junior Mollie Reynolds added three.

Catholic took a 54-52 lead following a three-point play by junior Sydney Poindexter with 1:55 to play before the Eagles scored five-straight to retake the lead, 57-54 with under 30 seconds remaining.

After two free throws from Reynolds pulled the Cardinals back within one, Stauffer missed back-to-back free throws with 17 seconds remaining before sophomore Cristin George grabbed the rebound and Catholic called a timeout to advance the ball and set up a potential game-winning shot.

Out of the timeout, freshman Amanda Johnson took the inbounds pass and drove to the rim where she gave the Cardinals a 58-57 lead with 10.8 seconds left.

On its ensuing possession, Juniata (9-13, 7-4 Landmark) pushed the ball upcourt and found Stauffer wide open underneath where she hit the lay in and was fouled from behind. After she converted the free throw to give the Eagles a 60-58 lead with 2.8 seconds remaining, Catholic called another timeout to advance the ball and set-up for another possible game-winner.

However, Mamula's three-point attempt from the right wing was off the mark and Juniata escaped with its third win in the last four against the Cardinals.

Mamula finished with 15 points, two rebounds and five steals while Reynolds had 11 points, three assists and six steals.

Catholic's starters combined for 50 of the team's 58 points. Junior Megan Stafford had 10 points and six rebounds and Johnson finished with nine points, three rebounds and three assists. Poindexter added five points, but was limited to just 16 minutes before fouling out.

Sophomore Maggie Rakowsky had six points off the bench.

The Cardinals saw its streak of 94 consecutive games with at least one three-pointer come to an end as they were 0 for 7. The last time the Cards did not make at least one three-pointer was back on Dec 8, 2015 in a 66-59 road win at St. Mary's (Md.) when they were 0 for 9.

Catholic travels to Susquehanna on Saturday for a 2 p.m., tip-off. Poindexter posted her second double double of the season and third of her career to lead the Cardinals' to a 57-51 win over Susquehanna at Franny Murray Court on January 19.