Lions fall at Wilson College

Ashley James guards on the perimeter.
Ashley James guards on the perimeter.

Chambersburg, Pa. - Hazleton dropped their first game of the 2022-23 season, losing on the road on Tuesday night at Wilson College by the score of 65-51. Much of the loss can be attributed to an 11 point scoring effort in the first half by Hazleton. The Lions combined for 40 points in the final 20 minutes of action but were unable to overcome the 14 point first half deficit. 

The Lions trailed 11-8 following the opening period but managed just one field goal late in the second quarter to go along with 10 turnovers favoring the home team Wilson. Faced with a 14 point halftime deficit, the Nittany Lions responded well after the midway break. In the third period alone, Hazleton went 10-for-16 from the field, getting eight points, including a pair of triples from sophomore Cassandra Rodriguez (League City, Tx.) with sophomore Rocky Curry (Darby, Pa.) going a perfect 3-for-3 from the field. Hazleton totaled 24 points in the quarter and trimmed the deficit to single digits entering the final period. 

Hazleton entered the fourth quarter trailing Wilson 42-35 and sophomore Azaria Johnson (Richmond Hill, Ga.) scored the first field goal of the final quarter to make the game a two-possession contest. Hazleton and the Wilson Phoenix went back and forth for nearly half the quarter but Wilson repelled the Lions attempts to make it a one score game and with four minutes remaining, Wilson proceeded to go on a 10-0 run to deliver the knockout blow, eventually winning the game 65-51. 

Three Nittany Lions reached double figures in the loss with Johnson leading all players with 13 points and 11 rebounds. Curry totaled 10 points and six rebounds while Rodriguez ended the night going 3-for-9 from beyond the arc to finish the game with 11 points respectively. 

Next up: The Lions will resume non-conference action this weekend with the team participating in the Rinso Marquette Invitational Tournament at Lebanon Valley College this weekend. On Saturday, November 12, Hazleton will square off with DeSales University at 7:00 p.m. in Sorrentino Gymnasium before facing off with Penn State Schuylkill or the host team, Lebanon Valley College on Sunday.