York, Pa. - The Nittany Lions fell to 8-10 in the PSUAC following an 85-56 defeat at Penn State York on Monday night. Several players were activated on Monday to bolster the roster but clear signs of rust were evident as the Lions shot just 21 percent from the field in the first half combining with 10 turnovers as York took full command of the game on their home court.
York would outscore Hazleton 40-18 in the first half and expanded their lead to as many 37 midway through the second frame. The Lions did manage to find their legs in the final 20 minutes, salvaging the night with a 38 point outpouring of offense in the second half. Leading York in the runaway victory was Deriq Brown with a 20 point, eight rebound effort. Three others cracked double figures for the home team including Brad Dabella with 15 points, John John Gillespie with 14 and Michael Coleman with 13 points, six rebounds and five assists. Hazleton was led by three reserve players who combined for 33 points off the Nittany Lion bench. Sophomore Joey Lombardo (Kingston, Pa.) notched a team-high 15 points on 6-of-6 shooting from the field with freshmen Donovan Cumberbatch (Brooklyn, Pa.) and Joshua Brown (Tobyhana, Pa.) adding nine points each.
Next up: Tuesday's loss put a damper on Hazleton's home court opportunity in the post-season but a crucial loss by Penn State Schuylkill on Monday night leaves the door open for Saturday home game. All will be decided on Thursday night when the two squads face off to decide the final regular season standings. Hazleton will travel to Penn State Schuylkill on Thursday for an 8:00 p.m. tip off. The winner of Thursday's game will host a PSUAC postseason game on Saturday. The loser will need to wait for the outcome of the Penn State Lehigh Valley vs. York game to determine where they will travel to for round one of the conference playoffs.