Lemont Furnace, Pa. - The Nittany Lions (4-9, 2-4 PSUAC) rallied to win the second half by a ten point margin, but a commanding first half performance from the home team Roaring Lions(5-8, 4-2 PSUAC) proved too steep to overcome. Fayette's starting five provided all the cushion they would need in the contest, netting 23 of 43 attempts on the evening to down the Lions by a score of 82-70.
Freshman forward Christopher Adames (Bay Shore, Ny.) led a second half charge with 15 points in final period, finishing the game with a season high 17 points in relief work. Hazleton shot 50 percent from the field in the second period and added 13 points from the free throw line, but the Lions were unable to effect the eventual outcome.
The Nittany Lions took an early 7-0 advantage over Fayette, prompting an early timeout from the home squad. With adjustments in place, Fayette fought back to gain control, holding Hazleton to just four points over the ensuing five minutes of play, racking up 14 points over that same stretch.
After a pair of three's from sophomore Royce Brathwaite (Pocono Summit, Pa.) and Junior Dwayne Richardson (Richmond, Va.) tied the score at 17, Fayette clamped down on the Nittany Lion offense, holding Hazleton scoreless over the next six minutes of action, pulling away from the Lions on a 19-0 run led by C.J Gaddis and Brandon Cunningham.
A layup and subsequent triple from sophomore Jordan Singletary (Houston, Tx.) thwarted a third first half run by the potent Fayette offense, but a 53 percent shooting effort from the home team earned Fayette a 50-28 advantage over Hazleton at the half.
Fayette extended the Hazleton deficit to as many as 28 points with 15:18 remaining in regulation, before an inspired Adames reeled off 13 consecutive points for the Nittany Lions to cut into what seemed like a comfortable Fayette cushion.
Hazleton continued to chip away at the Fayette lead, ending the game on a 12-3 run of their own. A pair of late three's from Richardson and senior Richard Hobbs (Central Islip, Ny.) cut the lead to 16, but Fayette could afford to spend their lead to the final buzzer. With time on their side, the Roaring Lions hung on to a 12 point win at the final horn.
Four of Five Fayette starters tallied double digits scoring performances, led by Luke Williams' 19 point, nine rebound effort. C.J. Gaddis and Brandon Cunningham chipped 14 points each, with Gaddis netting four of five shots from beyond the arc. Spencer Perief added 10 points in the winning effort.
Jordan Singletary supplied the Lions with his seventh double-double of the season, leading Hazleton with 18 points and a game high 15 rebounds.
Chris Adames finished the night with 17 points on six of nine shooting following his stellar second half effort.
Royce Brathwaite went eight for eight from the free throw line to total 13 points in the contest and Dwayne Richardson added 12 points in the loss including three buckets from long range.
A quick turnaround for the Nittany Lions on their western Pennsylvania road trip as the Lions meet up with Penn State New Kensington on Saturday at 3:00 p.m. Hazleton looks to get back in the win column after dropping their last four Penn State University Athletic Conference matchups and get back in the playoff hunt.