Hazleton, Pa. - The Lady Lions scored 31 points off turnovers to nab their second straight win in Wednesday's home contest with Harrisburg Area Community College. Hazleton forced 27 turnovers in the game and out-shot their opponent, firing 38.5 percent from the field compared to just 28.4 for the visiting Hawks. The Lions used that advantage to overcome a steep deficit in the rebounding column and convert their effort into a 69-55 win.
All five starters pitched in solid efforts for the Hazleton squad on Wednesday night. Senior Mckenzie Prutsman (Jasper, Ny.) tallied 29 points, eight steals, five boards and five assists to lead the way for the Lady Lions, connecting on 14-of-23 shots from the field. Sophomore Kendra Pfeil (Hazleton, Pa.) surged for 16 points including three triples while adding four steals and three blocks while sophomore Lauren Pataki (Hazleton, Pa.) served up 15 points and four assists in the win. While the Hazleton forwards didn't show up big in the scoring column, they certainly filled the box score with their efforts. Sophomore Devon Keiper (Wilkes-Barre, Pa.) served up a game-high four blocked shots and nabbed four steals and nine rebounds while junior Mekenzie Wolfe (Grove City, Pa.) issued two blocks while pulling in a team high 13 boards.
Four of Hazleton's first six buckets came off Hawk turnovers, helping the Lady Lions to build a 16-7 advantage through one period of action. The Hawks would respond with a 4-for-5 push from beyond the arc in quarter number two, but Harrisburg couldn't contain Pfeil and Prutsman who combined for 14 in the quarter to keep Hazleton in front.
With an eight point lead at halftime, Hazleton came out of the break and caught fire, opening up their largest lead of the night midway through the period. Lauren Pataki connected on all three of her three point attempts in the period to help the Lady Lions go up by as many as 16 in the quarter but the Hawks would bounce back with a 12-2 run behind four triples from Cameron Koppenhaver. Hazleton would close the period on a 6-0 run of their own, pushing the lead back to double-figures. Both squads would go cold in the fourth period and the Hawks would creep back to within seven points midway through the final quarter but Hazleton would hold the visitors scoreless for the final 3:33 of action to pull out the 14 point win.
Next up: With the weekend road trip to Penn State Beaver and Fayette postponed to February, Hazleton will next hit the court on January 22 when they travel to Penn State Wilkes-Barre for a 6:00 p.m. showdown.