Media, Pa. - The Nittany Lions fell to 2-8 in conference play following Wednesday night's 83-62 loss at Penn State Brandywine. Hazleton shot just over 23 percent in the first half of the game, allowing Brandywine to post a 23 point lead at the break and cruise to their eighth PSUAC victory of the season.
Freshman Kyle Artis (Allentown, Pa.) knocked in a go-ahead bucket in the early stages of Wednesday's game but that spark failed to ignite the offense in the first half against Brandywine. Following the Artis triple, Brandywine proceed on12-0 run over the next six minutes of action to give Brandywine an healthy cushion to start off the night. Hazleton trimmed the deficit to single digits until Brandywine connected on four straight triples, part of a 15-0 run late in the half that propelled Brandywine to a 39-16 advantage at halftime.
Hazleton would go down by as many 35 points and struggled to slow down the Brandywine attack, however the Nittany Lions were able to get going on offense in the final 20 minutes of play. Sophomores Jahdon Jerome (Cambria Heights, Ny.) and Colin Johnson (Raleigh, Nc.) and junior Joey Lombardo (Kingston, Pa.) combined for 23 points in the second half as Hazleton went on for their highest point total in five games, but Brandywine matched that effort with 44 second half points to maintain control of the game.
Nine Nittany Lions registered points in the box score on Wednesday with Jerome leading the squad with 11 points, six rebounds, four assists and a pair of steals. Kyle Artis added 10 points and six rebounds while Colin Johnson finished with 10 points and two steals to his credit.
Next up: The Lions return home for their next contest on Saturday, January 21 when Hazleton hosts Penn State Wilkes-Barre for a 3:00 p.m. conference matchup.