Penn State Lehigh Valley had just too much firepower for Penn State Hazleton to contain Friday night as Lehigh Valley poured in 107 points to Hazleton's 72 in the game played at Stabler Arena on the campus of Lehigh University. With the loss, Hazleton fell to 6-12 overall and 5-7 in the PSUAC and snapped a two game winning streak. Lehigh Valley had a hot shooting hand on the night hitting 51% of their field goals (41-79), 40% of their three point shots (12-30) and 80% of their free throws (12-15). Visiting Hazleton could manage to only hit 39% from the floor (25-36) and 27% (9-33) from the three point line while they did hit 85% of their free throws (11-13) in the loss.
Jonathan Fogarty led the Hazleton attack with 15 points followed by Nick Nowak pumping in 13 points and Robbie Hopkins' 10 points. Shay Nelson also added 9 points and 8 rebounds. For Lehigh Valley, Jeremiah Jenkins led all scorers with 26 points, followed by AJ Molettiere's 18 points and Zach Thomas' 11points. Lewis Hargett hit for 13 points and Eric Johnson added 12 as both players came off the bench and added a one-two punch along with Jonathan Buie's 9 points and 14 rebounds for Lehigh Valley.
Hazleton actually held the early lead once Zach Thomas hit an opening jumper eight seconds into the game. Nick Nowak hit a trey followed by two Jonathan Fogarty free throws and then a layup by Nowak put Hazleton up 7-2. Lehigh Valley called a quick 30 second time out and hit Thomas responded with a field goal. Nowack answered with another three pointer but then went cold for over four minutes. Lehigh Valley took advantage of the sudden chill by their opponent and went on a 21-2 run. By the time Hazleton found their shooting eye again, they found themselves down 15 points with less than nine minutes to play in the half. Things went south again for Hazleton when they couldn't hit a bucket again until a Fogarty layup at the 2:40 mark, followed by an Aaron Kellmer trey. By the time the horn sounded, Hazleton found themselves down by 17 points with the score 50-33.
Kellmer once again started things off for Hazleton with another triple 56 seconds into the half. With Lehigh Valley packing the paint, Hazleton went with the long ball to try to chip away at the lead. After a handful of attempts, Nowack finally found the touch and hit for three at the 17 minute mark making the score 39-59. Lehigh Valley continued to stretch the lead throughout the half, keeping it no less than 18 points for over a six minute stretch and by the 7 minute mark held a commanding 30 point lead. Lehigh Valley then began to empty the bench, but unfortunately for Hazleton, there was no change in the pace of the game as Hargett and Johnson continued to pour in the points. As the Hazleton reserves entered the game, Matt Manbeck hit from beyond the arc, Jonte Washington hit two buckets and Ryan Wolfe added another triple to get into the books. Hopkins finished the scoring for Hazleton with a triple at the :23 mark but it was far short of what was needed to get any closer. When the final buzzer sounded the final score was Lehigh Valley 104, Hazleton 72.
Hazleton returns to play Tuesday night at the Dr. Thomas M. Caccese Gymnasium in a PSUAC game against Penn State Wilkes-Barre with tip off scheduled for 8 PM. the last time these two teams met on January 23rd, Hazleton found themselves on the downside of a 77-48 score.