Pottsville, Pa. - The Lady Lions (6-1, 1-0 PSUAC) shook off the rust following a nine day layover for the holiday break to earn the victory over Penn State Schuylkill at Martz Hall on Tuesday night. A 14 point first half performance by freshman point guard McKenzie Prutsman (Jasper, Ny.) pushed the Lady Lions ahead of their rival Schuylkill and senior Alexis Daly (New Albany, Pa.) iced the game at the free throw line in the fourth quarter as Hazleton hung on to win their first Penn State University Athletic Conference contest of the season.
After four lead changes in the first 12 minutes of action, the Lady Lions reeled off 10 straight points to pull ahead of Schuylkill midway through the second quarter. Four Lady Lions contributed over that stratch, including Prutsman, who scored eight of her 14 first half points in the final four minutes of action to give Hazleton a 29-21 advantage at the break.
Daly's jumper to open the third quarter extended the Lions lead to double digits, but a 10-2 by Penn State Schuylkill shrunk the Lady Lions lead to just two points midway through the period. Hazleton cranked up the defense to hold Schuylkill to just three points through remainder of the third as the squad erased the Schuylkill threat with an 11-3 run to end the quarter. Despite shooting just 23 percent from the field in the second half, Schuylkill battled back in the final frame, cutting the Lions lead back down to four points with 7:28 remaining to play. With the game in the balance, Alexis Daly took command of the ball, earning four trips to the charity stripe, sinking six of seven from the line to insure the win for the Lady Lions.
Tessa Dolce wracked up an astounding 24 rebounds for the home team, adding 16 points to lead all scorers for Schuylkill. Renae Warcola chipped in 11 points off the bench in 21 minutes of work.
Mckenzie Prutsman led all scorers in the game with 18 points, shooting 50 percent from the field. Alexis Daly struggled from the field, but willed her way to a 14 point evening, adding six boards and three steals. Junior Stephanie Guevara (New Brunswick, Nj.) continued her fine all around play, supplying seven points, seven rebounds and six steals in the winning effort.
Next up: The Lady Lions look to win their fourth straight contest when they head back on the road for a PSUAC matchup with Penn State Worthington Scranton. Tip-off scheduled for 6:00 p.m. on Thursday night in Dunmore, Pa.