Mont Alto, Pa. - Penn State Hazleton (3-12, 2-7 PSUAC) torched the net from long distance, scoring 11 three-point shots on a night where the Nittany Lions gave no. 3 ranked Penn State Mont Alto (15-3, 9-0 PSUAC) all they could handle. The Lions crisp shooting kept them in contention, taking the Penn State University Athletics Conference's best squad to the brink. Mont Alto pulled ahead by as many as 12 points in the second half, then clung to the lead as the Lions chipped away late in the game. Hazleton got within two points of the home team with 1:17 remaining, but Mont Alto iced the game at the free throw line, taking the game by a score of 62-58.
In a half that saw eight lead changes, both squads traded baskets throughout the period with neither able to create any significant cushion. Hazleton's largest lead came just over four minutes into play when sophomore Royce Brathwaite (Pocono Summit, Pa.) connected on his first triple of the night, followed by a jumper from sophomore Jordan Singletary (Houston, Tx.) completing an 8-0 swing by the Nittany Lions.
Mont Alto built a six point advantage later in the period until a pair of three's from junior Dwayne Richardson (Richmond, Va.) recaptured the lead for the Lions with 1:10 remaining. The Lions edged the top ranked Mont Alto squad by one at the break, shooting 48 percent from the field and connecting on seven triples in the half, despite losing the rebounding battle 15-9 in favor of the home team.
Hazleton held a slim two point lead early in the second period, but went cold on a nearly eight minute long scoring drought, allowing Mont Alto to build a 10 point advantage with 10:50 to play. Trailing by 12 with six minutes to play, Richardson and sophomore Anthony Kaiser (Brooklyn, Ny.) sparked an 8-0 run to tighten the screws on the home team. Kaiser continued to heat up as the game reached crunch time, sinking three of his four three-point baskets in the final six minutes of action, inching the Lions closer to an upset win. The sophomore buried his final triple with 1:17 in the game bringing the score to 60-58 in favor of Mont Alto, but that's as close as Hazleton would get, as the Lions missed on their final opportunity and Mont Alto netted a pair of free throws to ice the game.
10 Mont Alto players found the scoring column, but Theo Remy was the only player in double digits, notching a game high 17 points, scoring five of nine shots from beyond the arc. Jerome Evans added eight points in the win while grabbing a game high 12 rebounds.
Hazleton was led by Royce Brathwaite who finished the night with 14 points, four assists and three steals. Jordan Singletary pitched in 13 points on six of nine shooting and held down the paint with three blocks. Rounding out the Lions scoring efforts was Anthony Kaiser, going four for four from beyond the arc to net 12 points in the losing effort.
The Nittany Lions head back out on the road to face Penn State Brandywine on Friday night at 8:00 p.m. followed by a 7:00 p.m. tip off with Lehigh Valley on Saturday night at Stabler Arena.