HUNTINGDON, Pa. — Goucher fell short, 69-62, in a back-and-forth Landmark Conference affair tonight as Juniata got the last of, what would be, five lead changes during the midway point in the final half.
No team gained more than a nine-point cushion throughout the contest.
Early on, Goucher held a slight, 10-6, advantage as each starter recorded a bucket within the first five minutes of play. The lead continued to stay in favor of the visiting team until Brandon Martinazzi made a layup with 10:53 left to take the 16-14 lead.
Still, as time wound down in the opening half, the Gophers (4-8, 0-3 Landmark) hung around as Chris Outing (New Windsor, N.Y./James I. O'Neill) hit two-straight jumpers in back-to-back possessions for the blue and gold to cut the Eagles' lead back to one.
After Dennis Fisher pushed in a layup to tie the score up at 27, Goucher rattled off a 6-0 run to take a 33-27 lead into the locker room at the half.
Opening up the second half, Ed Oliver (Adelphi, Md./High Point) scored six of the team's first seven points to give Goucher the 40-31 advantage. The edge stayed in favor of head coach Tom Rose's squad until Damon Rickens knocked down a 3-pointer with 10:18 left to take a two-point lead.
From there, the Gophers cut the Eagles' lead to one as Norman Allen II (Bowie, Md./Riverdale Baptist) made two free-throws. Moments later, Tucker Canary (Silver Spring, Md./Montgomery Blair) gave Goucher the 49-48 lead with a layup.
On the next possession, Juniata regained the lead as Marcus Lee — who finished with 20 points — made a layup with 8:20 on the clock. That didn't last long as Canary took to the foul line for a three-point play. The senior guard sunk the free-throw to give the Gophers a 52-50 lead.
Kyle Koehler nailed a 3-pointer with 7:08 remaining in regulation for the last lead change which gave the Eagles (10-2, 3-1 Landmark) a 55-54 advantage.
Goucher came as close to four points in the final six minutes of play but Juniata closed the game out, making 5-of-8 foul shots to seal the Gophers' fate.
Oliver led the visiting team with 16 points and seven rebounds while Canary notched 13 points.
The Gophers continue with Landmark play as they host Catholic on Thursday to start a three-game homestand. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m.