Comeback bid thwarted as Lions fall to Penn State DuBois, 72-61

Comeback bid thwarted as Lions fall to Penn State DuBois, 72-61

HAZLETON, Pa. - Sophomore Jordan Singletary (Houston, Tx.) had a monster second half, but Penn State Hazleton fell short against Penn State University Athletic Conference foe Penn State DuBois, 72-61, on Saturday afternoon in the Dr. Thomas Caccese Gymnasium.

Singletary finished with 21 points and a career-high 24 rebounds, including 11 points and 18 boards in the second half. Singletary and sophomore teammate Royce Brathwaite (Pocono Summit, Pa.) led a second half surge, but DuBois (5-2, 1-1 PSUAC) was able to fend off a pesky Nittany Lion team for the win.

Hazleton (3-6, 2-1 PSUAC) struggled from behind the arc, making just 6 of their 29 attempts. Despite limiting turnovers and winning the rebounding battle, 45-42, DuBois won the battle in the paint, scoring 28 points in the lane. The visitors also hit 10 three's, five in each half, to hold onto a wire-to-wire lead.

1st Half

DuBois jumped out early before senior Richard Hobbs (Central Islip, NY) nailed a three to tie the score at 8-8. A 12-4 DuBois run halted Hazleton's momentum, but Singletary and Nowak answered with a jumper and three, respectively, to pull back within three at 20-17. 

Singletary scored the next six points for Hazleton, who trailed 30-23 after the sophomore's jumper with 5:47 remaining in the half. In between ten DuBois points from Sam Roselli, freshman Brian Miller (Barnesville, Pa.) and Nowak hit back to back jumpers before a nearly two minute dry spell for the Nittany Lions left them trailing 40-27. Brathwaite hit a lay-up and was fouled, converting an old fashioned three-point play before a DuBois three made it 43-30 heading into the break.

2nd Half

The teams went scoreless for the first two minutes of the second half, and Hazleton managed only four points over the first five minutes of action. Despite the lack of production, the Nittany Lions never let DuBois pull away, holding the visitors to only five points over that same stretch. The Lions used a quick 6-0 spurt to grab a 20-point advantage, and after trading baskets Hazleton made their run.

Singletary hit a jumper, then Nowak was fouled on a three-point attempt. After making two of the three, DuBois turned it over and Brathwaite made it hurt with a three to cut a 20-point deficit to 13 in just over a minute of play. After trading two buckets, Singletary and Nowak combined for six straight points to pull within eight at 61-53. A DuBois jumper made their lead 10, but not for long. Miller poured in a three from the corner to force a DuBois timeout with the score 63-56 with just over six minutes remaining. 

However, that's as close as Hazleton would get as a four minute stretch produced no points for the Nittany Lions. DuBois controlled the ball and the clock for much of the final two-plus minutes of action to take home the win. 

Top Performers

Singletary willed his way to his best ever performance as a Nittany Lion, including 11 offensive rebounds. DuBois had only 11 offensive rebounds as a team. Brathwaite added 15 points and freshman Nick Nowak (Philadelphia, Pa.) scored 13 for Hazleton. 

The double-double is Singletary's fifth of the season, and third in a row. Each of the last three have come in conference play.

DuBois was led by Kyle Mills' 22 points. Teammate Sam Roselli added 18 for the Lions.

Next Up: Hazleton returns to action on Tuesday, Dec. 8th when they travel to conference rival Penn State Wilkes-Barre for an 8:00 p.m. tip-off.