Penn State Hazleton Falls to Mont Alto

PSU Mont Alto 75, PSU Hazleton 62

 

Penn State Mont Alto used a rebounding advantage to take control of the offense in the second half and post the come-from-behind victory to improve to 3-1 in PSUAC play.

Monto Alto outrebounded PSU Hazleton 51-40 overall. Mont Alto grabbed 32 defensive rebounds and held Hazleton to just 16 offensive takes to limit the local Lions' second-chance points opportunities.

Although Hazleton grabbed 24 defensive boards of their own, Mont Alto managed to take 19 off the offensive glass.

Hazleton jumped out to a 9-0 lead but Mont Alto responded to take a 35-32 halftime advantage, and outscored the local Lions 40-30 in the second half to seal the win.

Mont Alto was also 15-for-23 from the foul line, while Hazleton made only five of their 10 attempts.

"We need to get to the foul line more. Today, I think we took too many threes. They were good shots but we shot poorly," PSU Hazleton head coach Jeff Rush said. "We need to be aggressive inside the three-point line and attack the basket."

Jeremiah Mitchell was a force inside, sinking eight of his 11 field goal attempts for 19 points and grabbing 11 rebounds to lead PSU Mont Alto. Cameron Bowens scored 15 points and Jeffery Bowie followed with 14 for the winners.

"I give Mont Alto a lot of credit. They fell behind 9-0 early, but regrouped and really played well. They're a solid basketball team and probably the best Mont Alto team I've seen in years," Rush said. "We didn't have an answer for Mitchell inside. He got a lot of points in the paint and also did a very good job on the offensive boards. Rebounding really hurt us in the game and he was a big part of that. We have to do a better job of boxing out."

Alex Akabogu paced PSU Hazleton with 13 points and 10 rebounds, and Dwayne Vines also posted a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds.

Ashkan Naderi contributed nine points, five rebounds and three assists; and Hazleton Area graduate Diego Jimenez also scored nine points.

"It was a playoff-like atmosphere. It was a very hard-fought, physical game," Rush said. "We came up short today, but hopefully this helps our guys understand what it takes to win in our league each night. It's never easy."

PSU Hazleton (3-5 overall, 2-1 PSUAC) hosts PSU Wilkes-Barre Tuesday at 8 p.m.

PSU MONT ALTO (75)

Mitchell 8 3-8 19, Ingram 2 2-2 6, King 3 2-3 9, Welton 1 2-2 4, Hill 0 1-2 1, Meyers 1 0-3 3, Bowie 5 2-2 14, Bowens 5 2-2 15, Null 2 0-0 4, Easter 0 0-0 0. Totals 27 15-23 75.

PSU HAZLETON (62)

Naderi 3 0-0 9, Jimenez 3 0-0 9, Akabogu 4 5-9 13, Rodriguez 3 0-0 6, Fogarty 2 0-0 5, Gil 0 0-0 0, Ca. Petty 2 0-0 6, Vines 6 0-1 12, Major 1 0-0 2, Ch. Petty 0 0-0 0. Totals 24 5-10 62.

Halftime: PSU Mont Alto 35-32.

3-FG: Bowens 3, Bowie 2, King. Naderi 3, Jimenez 3, Ca. Petty 2, Fogarty.