Hazleton, Pa. - The Lady Lions fell to 1-8 on the season with Friday's 87-62 home loss at the hands of Penn State Lehigh Valley. Lehigh Valley's physical play held the Lady Lions to just 15 field goals on the night while their outside attack gave them all the breathing room they would need to pull off the win over Hazleton. That physical play by Lehigh Valley would also translate into 30 personal fouls allowing Hazleton shine at the free throw line. Despite shooting just 25 percent from the field, the Lady Lions converted 27-of-35 attempts at the stripe and outscored Lehigh Valley 36-28 in the second half, but Lehigh Valley's 33 point halftime advantage prove ample enough to secure the win.
Junior Mekenzie Wolfe (Grove City, Pa.) battled her way to a double-double, scoring 14 points on 5-of-12 shooting from the floor. Wolfe was perfect from free throw line to reach her season high scoring output and secured a team high 12 rebounds.
Other Lady Lions in double figures included sophomores Kendra Pfeil (Hazleton, Pa.) and Lauren Pataki (Hazleton, Pa.) as well as senior Mckenzie Prutsman (Jasper, Ny.). Pfeil totaled 15 points and five rebounds, sinking 3-of-9 attempts from beyond the arc while Pataki garnered 11 points going 6-for-7 from the charity stripe. Prutsman was held without a field goal in the first half but came on in the third and fourth quarters. The senior nabbed four steals in the second half, converting four field goals off turnovers to notch a team high 19 points.
Both teams traded scores early on but Lehigh Valley would gain separation in the closing minutes of the first quarter. A 13-4 run by the visitors to close the period gave Lehigh Valley a 15 point cushion and plenty of momentum leading into the second frame. Lehigh Valley continued to pour on the offense while limiting the Lady Lions to just 11 percent shooting in the second quarter. Lehigh Valley got a boost from Ally Quin off the bench who went a perfect 5-for-5 in the quarter, scoring 13 of her 19 total points to help Lehigh Valley take a 59-26 advantage at the break. The visitors would convert on 12 first half triples, shooting just under 50 percent from the field to build the lead.
Though trailing by a steep margin, there was no quit in the Lady Lions. Hazleton would get back on track with an 18 point third quarter. Prutsman converted a pair of steals into field goals while Pataki, Pfeil and sophomore Devon Keiper (Wilkes-Barre, Pa) each contributed long range makes to win the quarter. Hazleton continued with a solid second-half response but Lehigh Valley would coast to the finish thanks to their first half efforts.
Next up: Hazleton wraps up the fall semester and will look to rebound after the winter break. The Lady Lions will resume play on Monday, January 7 when they host Penn State Schuylkill at 6:00 p.m. in the Dr. Thomas M. Cacesse Gymnasium.