Hazleton drops non-conference contest to Bloomsburg, 79-56

Royce Brathwaite leads the Hazleton offense.
Royce Brathwaite leads the Hazleton offense.

HAZLETON, Pa. - Penn State Hazleton fell to NCAA Division II opponent Bloomsburg University, 79-56, Friday night in the Dr. Thomas Caccese Gymnasium. The Nittany Lions (2-1, 0-0 PSUAC) dropped their first game of the season, falling to the Huskies for a third consecutive year.

The Nittany Lions were paced by freshman Royce Brathwaite, who finished with a career-high 18 points on 6-of-8 shooting, including three from behind the arc. Brathwaite was the only Lion in double figures, although junior Dwayne Vines finished with nine points and a team-high six rebounds.

Hazleton was plagued by turnovers, commiting 25 which ultimately led to 28 of Bloomsburg's points. The Huskies also used their size, outscoring Hazleton 56-26 in the paint and outrebounding the Nittany Lions 31-23. Hazleton shot 51 percent from the field, but managed only 41 shots. Bloomsburg finished 33-for-57 from the field, including 5-for-11 from behind the arc.

Brathwaite led the charge from the bench, as Hazleton's bench outscored the Huskies, 33-28. But it wasn't enough, as Bloomsburg took a 41-25 lead into halftime and refused to relinquish their double digit lead.

Four Bloomsburg players finished in double figures, led by 19 points from Christian Mortellite. Alssene Saintilus chipped in with 16, Moustapha Noumbissi added 15. Alex Prislupsky rounded out the group with 10. Former Hazleton standout Ashkan Naderi finished with five points and an assist in his return.

Hazleton will hit the road next week, starting a three-game road trip beginning with King's College on Monday, November 17. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:00 p.m.