Hazleton, Pa. - Hazleton improved to 2-1 in the Penn State University Athletic Conference with a 63-42 home victory over Penn State DuBois on Saturday. The Nittany Lions forced 30 turnovers and held the visitors to 24.5 percent shooting from the field to secure an important conference win.
It was a season high 21 points for junior Andy Kwaitkowski (Gaithersburg, Md.) powering the Nittany Lion offense in the second half. The junior finished 6-for-8 in the final period, adding four steals and five offensive rebounds in the win for Hazleton. Junior Robbie Hopkins (Mountain Top, Pa.) added 11 points, four steals and four dimes while sophomore Brandon Mohammed (Albrightsville, Pa.) pitched in his third double-double of the season with 11 points and 10 rebounds.
Hazleton jumped out in front early and never relinquished the lead on Saturday. Nursing a four point lead with 11 minutes to play, the Nittany Lions finished the half on a 17-7 run, limiting DuBois to just 15 points in the period on 5-of-24 shooting.
The Lions would continue their heavy dose of defense as play resumed, allowing just one DuBois field goal in the first 5:45 of action in the second half. Hazleton would build a substantial 23 point cushion over that period of time but struggles at the free throw line would prohibit the Lions from putting the game away. As the offense slowed, DuBois would cut the deficit to just 11 points with just under seven minutes remaining but Kwaitkowski answered for the Nittany Lions, sinking a triple from the wing and working the offensive glass for an easy put back to give Hazleton a 16 point advantage. With the DuBois threat averted, the Lions finished the game the way they started, holding DuBois to just one field goal in the final six minutes to secure the win.
Next up: The Lions be back in action next Friday, December 7 as they wrap up the fall semester schedule. Hazleton will host Penn State Lehigh Valley in the final game of the fall at 8:00 p.m. in the Dr. Thomas M. Cacesse Gymnasium.