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Saturday, January 12, 2002

Etown Narrowly Averts Upset, Defeats Juniata 92-83 in Overtime

HUNTINGDON, Pa. --- Elizabethtown, currently ranked 12th in the nation in NCAA Division III, nearly became an upset victim Saturday afternoon on the road against Commonwealth Conference rival Juniata. In the end, however, the Blue Jays ended the game with a 92-83 overtime win over the Eagles and extended their winning streak to 11 games.

Elizabethtown (13-1, 4-0) was unable to pull away for long from Juniata (8-5, 1-3) in the first half. The largest lead the Blue Jays took in the first half was 24-13 at 13:00 on a three-pointer by Rocky Parise (Harrisburg, PA/Bishop McDevitt). By 7:58, the score was tied 24-24 following an 11-point Juniata run capped off with successive three-pointers by Brian Dietrich. Etown took a 41-33 lead into halftime following a Brian Loftus (Doylestown, PA/Central Bucks West) three-pointer, one of six he made in the game, at 0:39.

Etown went ahead 52-42 at 14:32 in the second half following a layup by Bob Porambo (Bethlehem, PA/Liberty). Juniata tied the score at 59-59 when Jeff Lau hit one of his five three-pointers and one of three he hit in the span of three minutes at 9:29.

With 1:01 remaining in regulation time, Loftus canned a three-pointer to give Elizabethtown a 76-73 lead. Juniata's Dave Reddick cut the lead to 76-75 with a basket at 0:47. However, when Elizabethtown's Chad Heller (New Holland, PA/Garden Spot) was fouled and made both of his free throws with just three seconds left to play, the Blue Jays held a seemingly safe 78-75 lead.

The unthinkable happened with one second to go in regulation time as Juniata's Shane Crandall threw up a desperation 40-foot three-point attempt, and it went in. With the score tied 78-78, Elizabethtown and Juniata were going into overtime.

Elizabethtown took the lead for good with 2:41 remaining in overtime when Loftus scored another three-pointer to take an 83-80 lead.

n the end, Loftus led all players with 23 points, and he shot 8-for-11 from the floor and 6-for-8 from three point range. Etown point guard Parise scored 22 points and led the team with seven assists while shooting 5-for-9 from three-point range and 7-for-11 from the floor. Porambo pitched in 16 Blue Jay points and, along with Jon English (Haddonfield, NJ/Haddon Township), who scored 11, led the team with nine rebounds. Heller added 11 points to the Etown effort.

Crandall led Juniata with 22 points, Lau scored 15 points, all of which came on three-pointers, and Reddick scored 15 points and pulled down 12 rebounds for the

Elizabethtown will return to action on the road Monday, January 14 against Dickinson for its final non-conference game of the season. There the Blue Jays will also try to tie their program-record longest winning streak of 12 games, set in the 1963-64 season. Game time is 7:30 p.m.

View the box score.