Hazleton, Pa. - The Nittany Lions were on fire Monday night when they hosted Penn State Schuylkill in the first game of the spring semester. Fresh off the four week hiatus, the Nittany Lions started slow but once they got going, seemingly everything seemed to fall for Hazleton who grabbed their fourth Penn State University Athletic Conference victory of the season with a resounding 85-49 win over Schuylkill.
Hazleton slowly built a double-figure lead in the first half but closed the period on a 19-5 run led by junior Andy Kwaitkowski (Gaithersburg, Md.) and sophomore newcomer Brett Kosciolek (Tamaqua, Pa.) who both pitched in seven points each over the stretch. The Lions stellar finish gave Hazleton a 43-19 advantage at the midway point, setting things up for a runaway second half.
Hazleton would coast in the second half, thanks in large part to 23 bench points that kept Schuylkill from getting back into the game. Overall the Lions would own the night with a 51.5 shooting percentage compared to just 25.8 percent shooting for Schuylkill. Combined with a 12 board margin on the glass, Hazleton dominated the court for the wire to wire win.
Junior Andy Kwaitkowski picked up right where he left off last semester, leading the way in the scoring department with a game high 19 points. Heading up a 42 point reserve effort were freshman Noah Stauffer (Drums, Pa.) with 13 points on 4-of-5 shooting and Kosciolek with 17 points and six boards in relief. Sophomore Brandon Mohammed (Albrightville, Pa.) led all rebounders on the night with 12, adding eight points and two blocks in the win.
Next up: Every game is crucial for the Hazleton squad as they look to position themselves for a playoff spot. The Lions will travel on Wednesday, January 9 to face Penn State Scranton before hosting Wilkes-Barre this weekend.