Hazleton drops pair of games at Lebanon Valley tournament

Rocky Curry dribbles on the perimeter.
Rocky Curry dribbles on the perimeter.

Anville, Pa. - Hazleton squared off with a pair of Mid Atlantic Conference opponents over the weekend, losing in both rounds of the Rinso/Marquette tip-off tournament at Lebanon Valley College. The Lions were met with stiff competition in both cases, falling to DeSales University on Saturday by the score of 90-37 before taking a 76-47 loss on Sunday at the hands of the host-team, Lebanon Valley College. 

Saturday, November 12 - Penn State Hazleton 37, DeSales University 90 @ Lebanon Valley College

The Nittany Lions opened the game with a 5-4 lead three minutes into the the action, but DeSales quickly responded and proceeded to reel off 19 straight points to end the first quarter. DeSales would limit Hazleton to just 13 first half points, forcing Hazleton into 15 turnover in the first half and widening their advantage to 31 points by the midway point. Despite the Bulldogs shooting just 38.6 percent from the field in the game, DeSales capitalized on Nittany Lions miscues and a big advantage in the rebounding column, totaling 42 points off Hazleton turnovers and 42 second-chance points to cruise to victory. Two Nittany Lions cracked double-figures in the losing effort with senior Jeny Rivera (Las Piedras, PR) with 13 points and a team high seven rebounds while sophomore Azaria Johnson (Richmond Hill, Ga.) totaled 10 points respectively. 

Sunday, November 13 - Penn State Hazleton 47, Lebanon Valley College 76 

Hazleton faced an uphill battle in round two versus Lebanon Valley College following Saturday's defeat. The Lions shot over 30 percent from the field in the first half against Lebanon Valley and stayed close to the home team both on the glass and in the turnover department but fell victim to a Lebanon Valley squad that shot over 42 percent allowing the Dutchmen to slowly increase their advantage throughout the half. Hazleton trailed by just 16 points entering the third quarter and were much more competitive in this one, but lost a pair of starters in the second half leading to a 42 point second half effort for Lebanon Valley and a lopsided result. Sophomore Rocky Curry (Darby, Pa.) notched a double-double in the loss for Hazleton, grabbing 10 rebounds to go along with 12 points on 6-of-16 shooting while sophomore Cassandra Rodriguez led the squad with a 17 point effort from the field. 

Next up: Hazleton will look to heal up after the weekend series against NCAA DIII competition and get healthy for Penn State University Athletic Conference play. The Lions will lead off the conference season with a trip to Penn State Scranton on Tuesday, November 15 for a 6:00 p.m. matchup.