UNIONTOWN, Pa. - The Penn State Hazleton Lady Lions season didn't end how they wanted it to--with a championship. But the no. 2 seeded team in the United States Collegiate Athletic Association National Championship tournament did come home with a win.
A day after being upset in the first round by no. 7 seed Cincinnati-Clermont, Hazleton bounced back in the consolation round to defeat Southern Maine Community College, 85-71. The win gave Hazleton their first ever win in the USCAA tournament and pushed their record to 22-5 on the year.
A sluggish performance in the quarterfinals ended Hazleton's hopes for a national championship, but the Lady Lions used some pent up aggression in taking down the SeaWolves. Four starters finished in double figures, including senior Alexis Daly (New Albany, Pa.) who wrapped up her stellar career with 17 points.
Sophomore Kamryn Dodd (Stevensville, Md.) scored a game-high 19 points for Hazleton while grabbing a team-best eight rebounds. Dodd joins Daly in her departure, heading for University Park next fall.
Freshman McKenzie Prutsman (Jasper, NY) added 15 points and four steals while junior Stephanie Guevara (North Brunswick, NJ) had a complete performance with 13 points, six rebounds, five assists and four steals.
Hazleton was uncharacteristically outrebounded by Southern Maine, 50-35, but shot much better from the field than the night before. The Lady Lions managed to shoot 42 percent from the field, 17 percentage points higher than their quarterfinal output. Shots also fell from the outside as Hazleton hit three shots from behind the arc.
Next Up: Hazleton will look to reload in the offseason as head coach Paul Appel must reconfigure his frontcourt with Daly and Dodd departing along with sophomore forward Alison Vincent (Ashville, Pa.). Freshman guard Kassie Ferdinand (Mountain Top, Pa.) also plans to make her way to University Park after a year with the Lady Lions.