Uniontown, PA - The Lady Lions (19-8) came up short in today's consolation matchup of the United States Collegiate Athletic Association National Tournament. Penn State Fayette (9-18) proved they would not be denied a victory as they edged out Hazleton 69-67 in their 3rd and final meeting of the 2014-15 season.
Both teams traded blows in a tightly contested clash of familiar foes. Battling injuries, Hazleton got much needed offense from from Deidra Ciavaralla (Mountaintop, PA), who cashed in three times in the first half from beyond the arc, to help the Lady Lions to a 36-33 advantage at the half. Fayette reclaimed the lead in the 2nd period with pristine inside-out ball movement, scoring wide open jumpers and creating a 12 point margin in favor of the Roaring Lions with just over 6 minutes remaining in regulation. Hazleton's Alexis Daly (Wyalusing, PA) and Taylor Cannon (Hazleton, PA) rallied the Lady Lions to a 15-5 charge in the final minutes of competition, but a last gasp effort failed to fall and the series sweep was not to be.
Penn State Fayette was paced by Courtney Haines who scored 21 points while grabbing 9 rebounds and kept Fayette in the ballgame early on. Haley Moreland added 19 points going 3 of 4 from long range and Jackie Halapy pitched 8 points with 10 rebounds on their way to victory.
USCAA first team All-American Alexis Daly led Hazleton with 22 points and 11 rebounds, giving her 36 points and 22 rebounds for the tournament. Playing in her final game, Hazleton's Taylor Cannon supplied her team with 10 points, 10 rebounds and 4 steals respectively in the losing effort.
Hazleton ends the season with 3 stinging losses, but much be proud of. The Lady Lions battled adversary to finish the year 19-8 and saw two outstanding student athletes surpass the 1,000 point milesone. The Hazleton team produced compelling action for fans, competing in its first Penn State University Athletic Conference title game, and a trip to the USCAA National Tournament.