HUNTINGDON, Pa. — Goucher's five starters were held to a combined total of 21 points this evening in a 70-51 loss to Juniata that leaves the Gophers in a precarious position with regard to making the Landmark Conference playoffs.
By comparison, Brian Schooly supplied the victorious Eagles (14-8, 5-6 Landmark) with 23 points. The senior forward was 7-for-9 from the field and missed only one of the eight shots he put up from 3-point range. He also converted his only two free-throw attempts.
Schooly's first made 3-point basket snapped an early 2-2 tie and put Juniata ahead to stay. His second one provided the Eagles with an 8-2 advantage. After a layup by Troy DeShields (Seaford, Del./Sussex Technical) made it 8-4, the only points either team scored for a nearly four-minute-long stretch came from another long-range connection by Schooly.
The Gophers (8-14, 3-8 Landmark) fell behind by as many as 15 points in the first half, but thanks to a 3-point basket by Jesse Mondry (Medford, Ore./South Medford) and a pair of free throws by Alex Noble (Clinton, Md./Surrattsville) during the final :50 of the period, they were down only 36-26 after 20 minutes.
Juniata, one of four teams currently tied for third place in the Landmark Conference, assumed its biggest lead of the contest (70-45) on a Justin Fleming layup with 2:56 left to play. The only points either team managed the rest of the way were from 3-point baskets by Mondry and Norman Allen II (Bowie, Md./Riverdale Baptist) that reduced the final margin to 19 points.
Allen's final field goal made him the leading scorer for Goucher as he delivered 12 points off the bench. The only other double-digit scorer for the Gophers was Noble, who tallied 10 points.
The Eagles, who were 28-for-55 from the field (.509), had nearly twice as many rebounds as the Gophers, 37-20.
The Gophers now trail Drew (4-7) by one game and Juniata, the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy (5-6), Moravian (5-6) and Susquehanna (5-6) by two games in the standings with only three games left to play. They would have to pass at least four of those five teams in order to grab one of the four playoff berths.
They'll get a chance to pull even with Drew when they host the Rangers this Saturday at 5 p.m. in the Decker Sports & Recreation Center.