First quarter charge sets up Lady Lions victory

Jaclyn Hess dribbles through traffic.
Jaclyn Hess dribbles through traffic.

Hazleton, Pa. - The Lady Lions used a 24 point effort in the first quarter of Friday night's matchup to build a hefty cushion as the Lions moved past Penn State New Kensington for their second PSUAC win of the season. Hazleton's 14 lead stood up for the remaining 30 minutes behind 11 three point makes from the Lady Lions who claimed Friday's contest by the final score of 72-53.

The Lions trailed for a total of just three minutes in the runaway victory as both the offense and defense stepped up to shut down New Kensington. Hazleton surged ahead midway through the first quarter with four connections from beyond the arc, including three by sophomore Jaclyn Hess (Bangor, Pa.) that gave Hazleton a double-figure lead by the two minute mark in the opening quarter. Hazleton would limit New Kensington to just five points in the final six minutes of the quarter, opening up a 14 point advantage that would hold up for the remainder of the game. 

New Kensington would get within 12 points of Hazleton on several occasions in the second half but Hazleton was able to answer in each instance with timely triples and points off turnovers. Despite foul trouble and losing the battle on the glass 47-38, Hazleton edged New Kensington by forcing 23 turnovers while committing just 12 and firing at nearly a 40 percent clip from beyond the arc to take home the win by nearly a healthy 19 point margin. 

Four Lady Lions racked up double digit stat lines led by Hess who knocked in six of nine attempts from long range to finish with a team high 18 points. Freshman Phillis Fugah (Philadelphia, Pa.) came in with 14 points, five steals and four assists while freshman Scarlet Vargas (Bronx, Ny.) added 12 points with three makes from distance. Freshman Alexa Clark (Effort, Pa.) posted season highs with 11 points and six assists to round out the top scorers on Friday while freshman RosaLydia Caputo (Howard Beach, Ny.) notched eight points and a team high 10 rebounds in the win. 

Next up: Hazleton will look to build off the momentum and keep pace in the PSUAC East when the Lions host Penn State Lehigh Valley on Tuesday, December 10 in the final game of 2019 before picking back up in January.