Hazleton, Pa. - The Nittany Lions fell to 9-4 in the PSUAC on Thursday night, dropping their first matchup of the season to Penn State Schuylkill on their home floor by the score of 79-51. Schuylkill presence in the paint along with 26 points off Hazleton turnovers were the difference in this one, allowing the visitors to steamroll their way to victory and remain in firm control of second place in the PSUAC East.
The Lions jumped ahead early with an 8-3 lead midway through the first period and trailed by just one possession late in the quarter until a late run by Schuylkill completely changed the momentum of the game. Schuylkill finished the quarter on a 13-2 run in the final three minutes of the period, capping the first quarter on back to back triples by Allison Crockett to take a 25-14 advantage in the second. From that point on it was all Schuylkill. The visitors took advantage of some Nittany Lion foul trouble, earning their way to 15 free throw attempts in the middle periods and outscoring Hazleton 41-20 over that same 20 minutes of play to run away for the win.
Schuylkill was led by Tajae Stevenson and Alyssa Gerber who both totaled 19 points with Gerber adding a game high eight rebounds in the win. Hazleton was led by freshman Cassandra Rodriguez (League City, Tx.) who knocked in four triples on her way to 16 points with junior Justine Bernazeau (Trelissac, FR) and freshman Azaria Johnson (Richmond Hill, Ga.) chipping in with eight points each, but points were hard to come by at times for Hazleton as they fell for the second straight conference game.
Next up: Hazleton will get a few days off before resuming play in the PSUAC. The Lions will look to bounce back on Tuesday, February, 8 when Hazleton travels to Penn State Brandywine for a 6:00 p.m. contest.