Nittany Lions falter at Wilkes U.

Robbie Hopkins makes a pass on the perimeter.
Robbie Hopkins makes a pass on the perimeter.

Wilkes-Barre, Pa. - Hazleton dropped their third straight game to start the regular season Tuesday night with a 96-58 defeat at Wilkes University. 

Wilkes led wire to wire in this one, holding Hazleton scoreless for the first four minutes of action and opening up a double-figure advantage by the ten minute mark in the first half. Wilkes used a combination of six triples and an 11-1 advantage in the free throw category to expand that margin while Hazleton connected on just 9-of-33 shooting attempts in the first period resulting in a 45-21 score at the midway point. 

The Lions found some offense in the second half from freshman Jose David Pena (Hazleton, Pa.) who went 7-for-12 in the final stanza but Wilkes would continue to dominate the glass and tack on long range buckets. The Colonels added 10 triples in the period, finishing the game with 16 combined baskets from beyond the arc, bolstering their lead to a 38 point margin of victory. 

With his strong effort in the second half, Pena would end the night as Hazleton's top scorer, totaling 18 points, six rebounds and three steals to his credit. Junior Andy Kwiatkowski (Gaithersburg, Md.) finished with 11 points and six rebounds while senior Robbie Hopkins (Mountain Top, Pa.) added seven points, five assists and three swipes to round out the top efforts. 

Next up: The Lions end a three game stretch on the road and will play their first home game on Tuesday, November 19 in the Dr. Thomas M. Caccese Gymnasium. Hazleton will host Penn State Brandywine kicking off the Penn State University Athletic Conference season.