PSU Hazleton Falls To King's In The Monarch Classic Opener

Nick Nowak drives the paint for a lay in at the Monarch Classic Friday night.
Nick Nowak drives the paint for a lay in at the Monarch Classic Friday night.

Despite a solid 19-point effort from Royce Brathwaite and three other Lions scoring double digit points, PSU Hazleton fell to Kings College in the opening round of the FNCB Bank/Monarch Classic Friday night in the hosts' gym in Wilkes-Barre.  With the loss, Lions slipped to 3-6 while King's improved to 4-4 on the year. The Lions will now play Susquehanna University (who fell to Lynchburg 73-65 in the tourney opener) at 1:00 Saturday while King's will now play Lynchburg College of Virginia in the championship game Saturday at 3:00 PM.

While Brathwaite was tallying his 19 points Shay Nelson followed with 13 points and 12 rebounds, Brandon Mohammed registered 11 points and 13 rebounds while Nick Nowak chipped in with 10 points.

Connor Callejas led the Monarch's with 26 points while Tony Maloney added a career-high 16 points.  Callejas, who entered the game needing six points to reach the 1,000-point plateau for his collegiate career, reached the mark with 15:01 on the clock when he drained a three-pointer for his point of the half.

The Monarchs took a 47-41 lead at the half-time break and then came out hot in the second half.  King's extended the lead to 56-41 with 17:28 remaining, but the Lions used a 13-2 run to close to within 58-54 with 14:55 to play after a three-point play from Brathwaite.

But the Monarchs regrouped and answered with a 19-5 run of their own to build a 79-59 lead with 9:59 to play. The Lions would come no closer than 18 points the rest of the way.

After the PSU Hazleton - Susquehanna consolation game at 1:00 PM, the Lions will take the long holiday break and regroup in the new year. Their next game will be a home game on Monday, January 8th against the University of Maine-Fort Kent to be played in Dr. Thomas M Caccese Gymnasium with tip-off scheduled for 8:00 PM.