February 3, 2008
Middletown, PA — In a high intensity filled battle for first place supremacy in the North Eastern Athletic Conference the Cazenovia Wildcats were helped by a late second half surge to get by the Penn State Harrisburg Nittany Lions 87-71 at the Capital Union Building Saturday afternoon. The loss drops the Lions to 6-4 in the NEAC and 7-12 overall while Cazenovia remains in first place with a conference record of 6-2 and are 9-9 overall.
Early in the first half it was a period of runs by both teams that set an early fast pace to the game. Cazenovia jumped out to a quick 8-2 lead, but saw Penn State Harrisburg come back almost instantly to tie the game at ten. After an Abe Hitz (Annville, PA/Annville-Cleona) lay-up, the Blue and White saw their lead increase to as many as seven points midway through the first, but only to see Cazenovia continue to chip away and take the lead for short time in the first half. After abandoning the lead for an instant the Nittany Lions took control of the lead for the remaining seven minutes of the first half and had a 42-41 lead at the break. Although, up by one point, Penn State Harrisburg kept Cazenovia in the game by only shooting 33.3% in the first half, but were helped out by 18 offensive rebounds.
Like most of the first half, the second half was started by one team storming out with several consecutive points. The Lions were the team that started out hot coming out from intermission going on a 14-4 run and seeing their lead expand to as many as eleven points with fifteen minutes to go in the game. The large lead was short-lived though as Cazenovia started to flex their muscle. The Wildcats eventually were able to catch the Lions tying the game at sixty, and after exchanging the lead a couple of times, took the lead for good late in the second half. A key time in the game saw Cazenovia's Eric Latendress have back to back possessions in which he hit three pointers. He followed those up with back to back possessions with blocks. Cazenovia used a strong team defensive effort and timely shooting to take control of the game in the second half. They held Penn State Harrisburg to just 29% shooting for the game while blocking twelve shots.
Penn State Harrisburg got another outstanding effort from Seth Lewis (Grantville, PA/Lower Dauphin) who had 29 points and 12 rebounds. Carl Dean Jr. (Norristown, PA/Norristown) added 10 points and 17 rebounds. Cazenovia was led by Lamin Zulu and Latendress who both scored 18 points.
Penn State Harrisburg's next home game is tomorrow against Keuka College at 3 pm.