Bethlehem, Pa. - A slow start on Tuesday night at Northampton Community College left Hazleton facing a 40 minute uphill battle. Seventeen second chance points combined with 23 points off Hazleton turnovers was the difference in Hazleton's third outing of the season, paving the way for a comfortable Spartan victory by the score of 82-53.
The Nittany Lions registered just seven points in the first 10 minutes of action, allowing Northampton to jump out to an early 14 point advantage and although the Lions briefly trimmed the lead back to single digits, the Spartan offense continued to pour in buckets throughout the game. A pair triples by Hazleton freshmen Aiden Wiktor (Danville, Pa.) and Joshua Brown (Tobyhanna, Pa.) to close out the half left Hazleton trailing by 13 at the break but a 17-2 run by Northampton to begin the second half dashed any hopes of a Nittany Lion comeback. In the end, the Spartans connected on 35 of 70 shot attempts, holding Hazleton to just 22 field goals for the game allowing for stress-free win over the Nittany Lions.
Ten Spartans got in the scoring column on Tuesday including three in double-figures. Mel Copeland led all scorers on the night going 8-for-11 from field and 4-of-6 from long range to total 21 points. Kymir Roper added 12 points, eight rebounds and four assists in the win while Michael Marable pitched in 12 points, six rebounds and five assists. It was an off night for the Lions shooting from the field but Hazleton did get quality minutes from the bench who totaled 28 points and got some much needed experience with conference play on the horizon. Aiden Wiktor came away with a team high 12 points, going a perfect 5-for-5 from the field in just 18 minutes of work while senior Andy Kwiatkowski (Gaithersburg, Md.) and freshman Colin Johnson (Raleigh, Nc.) totaled nine points each in the losing effort.
Next up: Hazleton continues wraps up their November non-conference schedule with local match up with NCAA Division III opponent Wilkes University on Friday, November 12 at 7:00 p.m. on the Hazleton campus.