Stout defense sparks second half comeback victory at Worthington Scranton

Stout defense sparks second half comeback victory at Worthington Scranton

Dunmore, Pa. - The Nittany Lions (3-5, 2-0 PSUAC) held Worthington Scranton (3-5, 1-1 PSUAC) to just seven made field goals in the second half of play to complete the comeback and earn their second Penn State University Athletic Conference victory in as many tries. Hazleton trailed the home team by nine points at the break, but inspired play on the glass limited Worthington Scranton's offensive opportunities as the Lions poured on the offense in the second half to take the game 71-61.

1st Half:

Six lead changes were traded in the opening half as both squads found their offensive rhythm early in the game. With sophomore Jordan Singletary facing early foul trouble, freshman Greg DePaolis sparked the Nittany Lions with eight points off the bench, keeping Hazleton within striking distance of Cullen Fanning and the home team Worthington Scranton. Fanning scorched the net in the first half, tallying 18 points as Worthington Scranton closed the period on a 12-3 run in the final five minutes of play to carry a 39-30 advantage into the break.

2nd Half:

With a fresh Singletary on the floor, Hazleton elevated their defensive intensity in the second period, holding Worthington Scranton scoreless over a seven minute stretch as they continued to chip away at the home team's lead. Singletary and company limited the home team to one and done opportunities on offense, out-rebounding Worthington Scranton 26-15 in the final period and allowing sophomore Royce Brathwaite and Junior Dwayne Richardson and Singletary himself to heat up on the opposite end. The Lions took the lead on a pair of Richardson makes from long distance with 13:26 remaining to play and the Lions refused to relinquish control from then on. The Hazleton trio combined for 36 second half points, silencing Fanning and Worthington Scranton in the process, as they steered Hazleton to the 71-61 victory.

Top Performers:

Cullen Fanning led Worthington Scranton with 20 points and eight rebounds, but was held without a field goal in the second half. Hasiin Dixon came up one assist shy of a triple double, tallying 12 points, 10 rebounds and nine dimes in the loss.

Four Nittany Lions reached double figures on a night where Hazleton shot 38 percent from the field including nine scores from long distance. Despite limited minutes in the first half, Jordan Singletary racked up a second half double-double to finish the night with 18 points and 16  rebounds. Royce Brathwaite led the Lions with 19 points and four assists, shooting seven of eight from the charity stripe. Greg DePaolis added 10 points and four rebounds in relief work and Dwayne Richardson offered up 12 points on four of five shooting from beyond the arc in the second half.

Next Up:

Hazleton looks to keep up the intensity and turn some heads in the PSUAC. The Lions take on Penn State DuBois on Saturday, December 5th at 3:00 p.m. in the Thomas M. Caccese Gymnasium as conference play heats up.