Hazleton, Pa. - The Lady Lions were back in action Saturday morning where they faced Central Penn College, a rescheduled contest from earlier in the week. Hazleton secured a 21 point advantage in the first quarter and never looked back as they cruised to an 83-46 non-conference victory. Six Lady Lions reached double-figures in the scoring column, a well rounded effort that pushed the Hazleton record to 10-2 on the 2016-17 season.
Central Penn's offense was driven by point guard Melissa Ruiz who tallied a game high 21 points on ten of 25 shooting from the field. Nashae Glover added eight points, 10 rebounds and four assists, while Amira Howard garnered 10 rebounds and two blocked shots in the defeat.
Sophomore McKenzie Prutsman (Jasper, Ny.) notched a team high 14 points, adding four steals in the win for Hazleton while teammate and fellow sophomore Ijonana Laster (Niagara Falls, Ny.) poured in 13 points.
Senior Stephanie Guevara (New Brunswick, Nj.) and Sophomore Haley Nalls (York, Pa.) both racked up double-doubles in this one. Guevara totaled 12 points, 14 rebounds, five steals and seven assists to fill out the box score with Nalls equalling the scoring output at 12, adding 11 rebounds to her credit.
Solid efforts in relief work included freshmen Mekenzie Wolfe (Grove City, Pa.) and Shelby Berger (Weatherly, Pa.) who rounded out Hazleton's double digit performers. Wolfe totaled 11 points and five rebounds in 24 minutes of work while Berger scored 10 in the victory.
Hazleton came out as the aggressor to open a 7-0 lead in the first two minutes and change, led by a lay-up and trio of free throws from junior Jacqlyn Siva-Harrison (South Brunswick, Nj.). Siva-Harrison's day would be short-lived with foul trouble for the second consecutive day but her teammates would pick her up and continue the momentum. Prutsman, Nalls and Berger would combine for an additional 16 points in the period as Hazleton built a commanding 25-4 first quarter lead.
Central Penn would bounce back in the second period, at one point reeling off a 10-0 run led by Melissa Ruiz. Ruiz knocked in three straight baskets during the run but Central Penn would go scoreless in the final 3:32 of the half as Hazleton carried a 42-18 advantage into the break.
Hazleton continued their run and gun style as the second half began and finished strong as the outcome was never in question throughout the final two periods. Wolfe and Berger would combine for 14 fourth quarter points to carry the Lady Lions to the finish line and their 10th victory of the season.
The Lady Lions enter a stretch of four consecutive Penn State University Athletic Conference matchups over the next two weeks as they look to build on their five game win streak. The Lady Lions will next take the court on the Tuesday, January 17 when the squad travels to Penn State Mont Alto for a 6:00 p.m. tip off.