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Griffin, Hicks lead Scranton, not enough to stave off Schuylkill

Penn State Scranton's Jeff Griffin, number 1, makes a layup as two defenders from Penn State Schuylkill try to block him.  Jeff Griffin scored 23 points and had 10 rebounds.
Emily Tavaris, The Nittany News Jeff Griffin (1) drives for a basket in between two PSU Schuylkill defenders. Griffin had a double-double 24 points and 10 rebounds.

Dunmore, PA- On Tuesday, January 24 Penn State Scranton took their home court to for a PSUAC conference match-up against Penn State Schuylkill.

The Lady Lions tipped things off and Penn State Scranton battled with the visitors keeping pace throughout the first half trailing 32-21 as they headed to the locker room. At the half, junior guard Molly Burke kept the home team in competition dropping 10 points. Makenna Rushannon led the visitors with 13 points and Caitria Bowen added 10, the two accounting for seventy percent of Schuylkills points before the first buzzer.

In the second half, Schuylkill came out of the locker room firing on all cylinders, shooting 20% better from the floor than Scranton. Monique Hicks led all scorers with 18 points, 8 rebounds and 2 steals and Molly Burke added 10 points for Scranton. Makenna Rushannon led Schuylkill with 16 point, 8 rebounds and 3 assists and Caitria Bowen and Nicole Sacco both added 14 and 12 points respectively for the visitors.

The men's team suited up for an 8 p.m. tip-off looking for their first conference win of the season. Both teams got off to slow starts as the first half turned into a 3-point shootout with each team combining for 9 made shots beyond the arc, Schuylkill's Kody Jacoby dominating the long range shots. Going into halftime Schuylkill led 45-33. Jeff Griffin led Scranton with 9 points as they headed to the locker room to re-group for the second half.  Derek Dimond led Schuylkill with 14 points and Kody Jacoby and David Graham also added 11 and 10 points for the half.

"The team is very good with their perimieter defense," commented Ryan Osborne, the teams official bookkeeper, "Benji (Griffin) and Levert in particular have a good eye for the passing lanes whereas Brandon Santana has quick hands and is a great ball defender.  They also have a solid perimeter offense which opens up the inside game."

However, struggling this year to meet the standards they set for themselves in the past few seasons the team does have things to work on with a roster heavy in freshman athletes.

"The biggest challenge I see as a spectator is communication and following their shots," Osborne commented when asked what they could improve from a fan perspective, "We miss opportunities for second chance points.  However, Benji is an absolute monster on the boards grabbing rebounds and his tenacity on defense makes it difficult for those he defends. He stands out because of his abilty to finish around the rim."  

Scranton came out at the start of the second half on a mission and crept back into contention with a change up in defense, fast hands and a few fast breaks. Key shots from the floor and two back to back 3-pointers gave them fuel. With 3 minutes left in the game the visiting Lions put a win for Scranton out of reach sealing the sweep 84-71. Jeff Griffin led Penn State Scranton with a double-double, 24 points, 10 rebounds and 5 steals. Also contributing to Scranton Levert Comas added 13 points, 8 rebounds and 1 block. For Schuylkill Derek Dimond led all scorers with a double-double 29 points and 11 rebounds. Kody Jacoby added a double-double of 17 points and 16 rebounds and David Graham had 14 points for Penn State Schuylkill.