Berkeley (NY) edges Penn State Hazleton Sunday Afternoon

Mckenzie Prutsman drives and makes the layup for the bucket for two of her 26 points Tuesday night against Penn State Wilkes-Barre.
Mckenzie Prutsman drives and makes the layup for the bucket for two of her 26 points Tuesday night against Penn State Wilkes-Barre.

On a day when Mckenzie Prutsman would hit the 1,000 point mark of her career scoring 14 points and pulling down 10 rebounds while teammates Kendra Pfeil would hit for 20 points and Shelby Berger would add another 14 points it just was't enough firepower as Ayana Ratliff and Crystal Miller powered Berkeley College (NY) past Penn State Hazleton 69-59 in a Sunday matinee at the Dr. Thomas M. Caccese Gymnasium in Hazleton. 

Ratliff led all scorers with 35 points on the afternoon; she also grabbed a game-high 15 rebounds, while also adding five assists. Crystal Miller netted 12 points and grabbed four boards, and Jaiyamoira Myers contributed seven points, 10 rebounds, and two steals. Penn State Hazleton was paced by Kendra Pfeil , as she scored a team-high 20 points to go along with seven rebounds and two assists. Mckenzie Prutsman posted a double-double with 14 points, 10 rebounds, three assists, and two steals, and  Shelby Berger added 14 points and eight rebounds.

The Knights set the tone of the game early, racing out to a quick 5-0 lead during the opening 1:55 of action thanks to a converted layup by Ratliff and a made three-point basket by Miller. Prutsman hit a layup at the 7:58 mark for Hazleton's first points and then drove the lane and scored again 30 seconds later to score the 1.000 point of her collegiate career. Berkeley College would gradually build its lead as the quarter progressed, eventually grabbing a 20-11 edge after 10 minutes of action. In the second quarter, the Knights went up by as many as 15 points (36-21) before entering the locker room at halftime with a 36-25 advantage.

Penn State Hazleton started the second half by scoring seven unanswered points over a span of 3:37 to pull to within four points at 36-32. This scoring run included consecutive baskets by Berger, and a converted three-point attempt by Prutsman. The Knights would build their lead back up to as many as nine points – and Berkeley led 51-42 after three quarters of action.

In the fourth period, the Nittany Lions would once again come to within striking distance of tying the game, as Penn State Hazleton battled back to within four – 57-53 – with 5:54 remaining in the game. Later – with Berkeley clinging to a 64-59 edge with 1:39 remaining, the Knights closed things about by allowing no points in the final 99 seconds of play. Penn State Hazleton missed their final two shot attempts while also committing a turnover in those final 99 seconds. Berkeley would go on to win the contest by 10.

Both teams struggled offensively in the game, as Berkeley College connected on just 37% of its shots from the floor (27-73) – including just a three-for-12 output from downtown (25%). The Knights also hit just 12 of their 21 free throws on the afternoon (57.1%). On the flip side, the Nittany Lions also endured frustration on the offensive end. Penn State Hazleton drained just 23 of its 70 attempts from the floor (32.9%). The Nittany Lions also connected on just two of their 19 shots from beyond the arc as well (10.5%). The Knights also dominated on the glass out-rebounding the Nittany Lions by a count of 56-41. Berkeley College committed just six turnovers, with Penn State Hazleton committing just eight.

With the loss the Hazleton drops to 6-8 on the year.  They will return to action on Tuesday evening, as the Lady Lions will take on the Lions of Penn State Worthington Scranton in a PSUAC contest. The game will take place at the Dr. Thomas M. Caccese Gymnasium in Hazleton with tip-off scheduled for 6:00 PM.