HAZLETON, Pa. - Penn State Hazleton (4-11, 2-6 PSUAC) trailed by just two at the half, but a second half surge by visiting Penn State Schuylkill saw the Nittany Lions fall, 75-65, in a PSUAC men's basketball game on Wednesday night in the Dr. Thomas Caccese Gymnasium.
A tightly contested foul-fest in the first half gave way to a more free flowing second. Schuylkill held a 35-33 advantage at the half as the teams combined for 32 fouls and 43 free throw attempts during the first 20 minutes.
Schuylkill padded their lead early in the second half as a Hazleton scoring drought in the middle of the half led to a 15-point deficit. A quick 8-0 spurt by the Lions got them within striking distance, but Schuylkill held off the late charge.
The teams traded baskets for the first six minutes as Schuylkill held a 9-8 lead in what would be a long first half for both teams. The Lions used an 10-0 run over the next two minutes to extend their advantage to 19-8 before Hazleton charged back. The Nittany Lions used an 11-1 spurt over three minutes to trail 20-19 with 8:31 remaining in the half. Junior Dwayne Richardson (Richmond, Va.) scored five points over that stretch, including a three-pointer at the end to pull within one.
Schuylkill stopped the rally, but would tie the score at 26-26 before eventually grabbing a 31-30 lead with just over two minutes remaining in the half. Schuylkill outscored the Nittany Lions 5-2 over the final two minutes to grab the slim two point lead at the half.
Each team finished with 16 fouls in the half, and Hazleton finished 14-for-18 from the free throw line while Schuylkill made 14 of their 25 attempts from the charity stripe.
After a Schuylkill basket, Anthony Kaiser hit a three to pull Hazleton within one. An 8-0 Schuylkill run over the next two minutes made it 45-36. Jordan Singletary scored the next six Hazleton points and Royce Brathwaite capped an 8-1 Hazleton stretch that made it 46-44 with 15 to play.
William Bracey scored six points during a 15-2 Schuylkill run over the next five minutes as the visitors extended their lead to 61-46. Hazleton chipped away again with an 8-0 run, but couldn't get closer than seven the rest of the way.
Sophomore Royce Brathwaite (Pocono Summit, Pa.) led all scorers with 24 points. Sophomore Anthony Kaiser (Brooklyn, NY) added 11 points as both he and Brathwaite finished with three three-pointers and three assists. Sophomore Jordan Singletary (Houston, Tx.) added 10 points and 11 rebounds to round out Hazleton's double-figure scorers.
Kody Jacoby scored 22 for Schuylkill, while Derek Dimond matched Singletary's double-double with 14 points and 11 boards of his own.
Next Up: Hazleton will host Penn State York on Sunday, January 24th at 3:00 p.m. Weather could impact this weekend's game so check www.psuhazletonsports.com throughout the weekend for updates.