PSU Brandywine rallies past local Lions
By Kelly Kostanesky (Staff Writer)
Basketball games are often played in peaks and valleys. Unfortunately for Penn State Hazleton, the valleys dominated the second half on Saturday.
PSU Hazleton raced out to a 17-point halftime lead but gave up 51 points in the second half to help PSU Brandywine roar back and capture an 82-70 victory in PSUAC action Saturday at the Dr. Thomas M. Caccese Gymnasium.
Hazleton shot a blistering 60 percent (9-15) from beyond the three-point arc in the first half to power its way to a 48-31 halftime advantage. Brandywine held an 8-7 lead at the 16:30 mark before Hazleton fired off a 12-0 run, behind five points apiece from Jacob Stiles and Alex Akoboju, to hold a 19-8 advantage with 13:25 left in the half.
The local Lions were up 24-10 when Brandywine finally got its offensive in gear. Zachary DeVito drained a three-pointer to send the visitors on an 11-5 run that cut the deficit to eight (29-21) with 7:27 on the clock.
But four of Hazleton's next five field goals came from three-point range to boost the lead back to 17 (43-26) with 1:55 left in the half. Stiles sank two of the triples and Casey Petty and Hazleton Area product Danny Fogarty each added one.
Hazleton drained a total of five three-pointers ove the final seven minutes of the second half to post the 48-31 halftime lead.
"We executed our game plan defensively to perfection in the first half," PSU Hazleton head coach Jeff Rush said. "Diego Jimenez did a wonderful job controlling Rasheed Wilkins, who is one of the best players in the league. That slowed down their whole team. Their team was slowed down and we did well shooting the ball."
But Brandywine came out in aggressive fashion to start the second half and scored eight points in less than two minutes to cut the deficit to nine (48-39) at the 17:11 mark. DeVito netted five of the eight points in the run.
The visiting Lions followed that up with a 14-2 run that spanned almost six minutes to take their first lead (55-54) since the early minutes of the game. DeVito and Mike McGlyn each drained a three to start the run.
After another Stiles triple, Brandywine scored the next 10 points to take control of the game.
Hazleton hung around and cut the deficit to six points (75-69) with 2:21 to play, behind four points from Akoboju, but Brandywine converted seven points at the free throw line over the final two minutes to seal the win.
"(Brandywine) picked up the tempo with pressure and we didn't handle it well," Rush said about the second half change. "We took quick shots and relied too much on the three-point shot. But we'll learn from it. We'll learn from our mistakes and move on. I give Brandwine credit for picking up the pace."
Wilkins poured in 25 points and had seven rebounds and five assists to lead Brandywine.
Learon Pray pumped in 15 points; DeVito posted 13 points, six rebounds, six steals, and three assists; and McGlynn dropped in 13 points.
Stiles drained five three-pointers and finished with 19 points and three steals to pace Hazleton.
Hazleton Area graduate Eric Radishofski fired in 11 points and grabbed nine rebounds and three assists; and Akoboju recorded 11 points, nine rebounds and three assists.
PSU Hazleton (14-8 overall overall, 10-4 PSUAC) travels to PSU York Wednesday.
PSU BRANDYWINE (82)
Wilkins 9 6-6 25, McGlynn 4 4-5 13, DeVito 3 5-8 13, Pray 6 3-5 15, Mulkeen 2 2-4 6, Bonnes 0 0-0 0, Mostardi 0 0-0 0, Jacquette 2 0-0 4, Abbass 0 0-0 0, Cassidy 2 0-0 6, Scholz 0 0-0 0, Baker 0 0-0 0. Totals 28 20-28 82.
PSU HAZLETON (70)
Stiles 7 0-0 19, Taylor 2 0-0 5, Jimenez 1 0-0 2, Akoboju 2 7-7 11, Radishofski 4 2-5 10, Fogarty 3 1-2 9, Petty 1 0-0 3, Scarcella 3 0-0 9, Burton 1 0-0 2. Totals 24 10-14 70.
Halftime: PSU Hazleton 48-31.
3-FG: DeVito 2, Cassidy 2, Wilkins, McGlynn; Stiles 5, Scarcella 3, Fogarty 2, Taylor, Petty.