FINAL SCORE: Apprentice School 74, Juniata 73
RECORDS: Apprentice School 5-6; Juniata 2-9
LOCATION: Huntingdon, PA
EVENT: Juniata Holiday Tournament
IN BRIEF: In a game that saw 10 ties and 11 lead changes, two Kenya Wilkerson free throws with 14 seconds left helped lead the Lady Builders to a 74-73 win over homestanding Juniata College in the third-place game of the Juniata College Holiday Tournament on Wednesday.
ON THE COURT
- The first seven minutes saw four ties as Kenya Wilkerson hit a pair of free throws to tie the game 14-all with 12:40 left in the half.
- Juniata scored the next seven points to take a 21-14 lead with 9:57 left in the half as Olivia Halfpenny hit a jumper for the hosts.
- The hosts kept their seven-point advantage at 26-19 when Kelsey Livoti hit a a 3-pointer with 7:29 left. Apprentice School responded with an 9-0 run to lead 28-26 on a pair of Wilkerson free throws with 5:30 left.
- Juniata responded with the next eight points as a Katy Learner 3-pointer gave the Eagles a 34-28 lead with 2:26 left. Ylexzis Traeger then answered for the Lady Builders scoring the next five points to get them to 34-33 with 49 seconds remaining. The hosts ended the half with the last five points as Liz Wortman hit a pair of free throws to lead 39-33 at the break.
- In the second half, the lead went back to seven on a Danielle Atkinson layup with 18:15 left as Juniata held a 44-37 lead. The Lady Builders scored the next nine points as a Wilkerson layup with 16:01 left put them ahead 46-44.
- Maria Photiades answered for Juniata with a layup nine seconds later to tie the game for the seventh time at 46-all. From there. neither team had more than a four-point lead in the final 16 minutes.
- After a Livoti layup gave the hosts a 70-69 lead with 2:16 left, Wilkerson responded with a jumper to put the Lady Builders back up 71-70. Following some missed shots by both teams, Wilkerson was fouled with 18 seconds left and hit the first free throw for a 72-70 lead. After missing the second, she got the offensive rebound and was fouled. This time she hit both to put Apprentice School up 74-70 with 17 seconds left.
- Photiades went 1-of-2 from the line with eight seconds left to get the hosts to 74-71. A 3-pointer from Halfpenny rimmed out but Photades put the rebound in with four seconds left for the eventual final of 74-73.
BEHIND THE BOXSCORE
- Wilkerson paced all scorers with 23 points and added seven rebounds along with four steals. This was her second 20+-point outing only trailing her 27-point game in a home loss to Christopher Newport University.
- Traeger set a season-high with her 19 points and had five rebounds for the Lady Builders.
- Jessica Neighbors matched her career-high with 16 points that she set last year at Mid-Atlantic Christian. She also matched her career-high with nine rebounds that she set twice last year.
- Courtney White also just missed a double-double with eight points and a team-high 10 rebounds.
- As a team, the Lady Builders were 28-of-75 from the floor (37.3%) and 18-of-28 from the foul line (64.3%). They out-rebounded Juniata 49-44.
- The Eagles were topped by Learner with 14 points and 10 rebounds coming off the bench. Natalie Hager chipped in with 12 points and Photiades scored 10 for Juniata.
Traeger was named to the All-Tournament team at the conclusion of the event. She was joined by Halfpenny (Juniata), Ally Ferucci (Widener), Carli Patrick (Heidelberg) and MVP Brianna Wylie (Widener). Widener defeated Heidelberg 55-51 in the championship game.
NEXT UP - New York weekend
The Lady Builders will start 2015 in New York with a United States Collegiate Athletic Association weekend doubleheader. On January 9, they'll face Briarcliffe College in West Hempstead, NY at 7 pm. The next afternoon they'll face St. Joseph's College-Brooklyn in The Hill Center on the SJC campus at 4 pm. That'll be a doubleheader with the men as they'll face St. Joseph's College-Brooklyn at 6 pm.
Game Photo: Courtesy of Jeff Garvin - Director of Athletic Marketing & Information - Heidelberg University.