Hazleton, Pa. - The Nittany Lions slipped on Friday night when Penn State University Athletic Conference foe Brandywine visited the Dr. Thomas M. Caccese Gymnasium. Hazleton was met by an opponent who was red hot from the field, and without their leading protector in the paint, the Lions were hard pressed for closeouts defensively and second chance opportunities on offense. Brandywine's 52.2 percent shooting effort and 52-36 dominance on the glass created major separation and held off any advances by the Nittany Lions who fell by the final score of 93-70.
Five Brandywine players notched double figures in the contest including a 37 point effort from the bench. Isaiah Wilmore topped all scorers in the contest with 22 points on nine of 16 shooting with 10 rebounds while fellow starter Junior Sanchez earned 14 points, six rebounds and four assists.
Shafi Mohammad, Isaiah Lester and James Fisher all toted double figure nights in reserve work. Mohammad totaled 14 points with Lester scoring 10. Fisher scotched the net for 13 points on five of six shooting, adding eight rebounds in the win.
Hazleton was led by junior Kyle Kelly (Manhattan, Ny.) who went for 16 points and five rebounds. Senior Dwayne Richardson (Richmond, Va.) added 10 points while sophomore Nick Nowak (Philadelphia, Pa.) earned a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds.
After missing their first three attempts from the field, Brandywine would connect on their next seven shots to quickly jump ahead to a 17-5 advantage over the Nittany Lions after just over six minutes of the game had elapsed. Hazleton would stay within reach via a pair of triples by sophomore Gregory DePaolis (Grafton, Ny.) and Kyle Kelly, but the Nittany Lions would connect on just four of 17 attempts from beyond the arc in the period. Brandywine took advantage of the Lions' misfires and converted on offense at a 56.8 percent clip. By the five minute mark the visitors had opened up a 41-20 cushion over Hazleton. Nick Nowak and Kyle Kelly would add three lay ups in the final minute of the half but Hazleton could not contain the potent Brandywine offense who carried a 50-33 advantage into the break.
Brandywine continued its red hot shooting to start the second half on a 17-2 run, opening up their largest lead of the contest at 67-35 and never looked back. Hazleton would cut the gap to 21 with just under ten minutes to play but would never threaten the outcome in the second half.
Hazleton looks to bounce back on Saturday for a much needed win against playoff contender Penn State Lehigh Valley. The Lions tip off on February 4 at 6:00 p.m. in the Dr. Thomas M. Caccese Gymnasium.