Orefield, Pa. - The Lady Lions squared off with Penn State Lehigh Valley on Wednesday night on the campus of Lehigh Carbon Community College, making up their postponed date from last week. Hazleton found early success behind a 22 point effort by senior Mckenzie Prutsman (Jasper, Ny.) but a mammoth third quarter by the home squad put the game out reach for Hazleton by the final score of 105-66.
Hazleton led by as many as 12 points in the first quarter and took a one point advantage into the second frame. Unfortunately for the Lady Lions, the same intense play that earned them a lead also led to early foul trouble that would limit their aggressiveness for the remainder of the night. Lehigh Valley responded to pull ahead in the second frame behind solid play on the offensive glass, a trend that would continue in the second half and ultimately earn them the win.
The home squad went on to notch 20 of their 41 points in the third frame via second chance opportunity or turnover, shooting nearly 60 percent in the quarter to put the game out of reach. Sophomore Lauren Pataki (Hazleton, Pa.) and Prutsman combined for 23 points in the fourth quarter for Hazleton but the Lady Lions were unable to cut into the Lehigh Valley cushion from the early stages of the second half.
Prutsman's 15 fourth quarter points would give the senior 43 points on the night, matching a career high scoring total set in 2018. Prutsman sank 16 field goals despite maximum attention from the Lehigh Valley defenders, adding nine points from the free throw line to eclipse the 40 point mark while adding five rebounds and four steals respectively. Pataki came on strong in the second half to total 15 points on the night, including a four-point play in the fourth quarter. The sophomore tacked on eight rebounds and sank 9-of-11 attempts from the charity stripe to reach double-figures and round out the top efforts for the Lady Lions on Wednesday.
Next up: The Lady Lions wrap up their non-league action on Saturday with a trip to Penn State New Kensington. Hazleton will face the newly formed squad at 3:00 p.m. following the men's contest at 1:00 p.m.