The Penn State Fayette men's basketball team opened play this past weekend in third place in the West division of the Pennsylvania State University Athletic Conference (PSUAC).
However, after a pair of tough road losses, it now finds itself tied for fourth place.
Fayette (7-10 overall, 6-6 PSUAC) lost Friday at Penn State Schuylkill (9-9, 9-3), 68-55, and at Penn State Hazleton (6-9, 6-5) Saturday, 59-54.
Friday night, Fayette held a 27-26 lead at halftime but was outscored 42-28 in the second half.
Neither team shot well from the floor as Fayette shot 33% (20-60) while Schuylkill shot 30% (20-67).
"Our lack of offensive execution really restricted us today," Fayette coach Marcus Thomas said. "We settled for too many three-point attempts, made mental mistakes and turned the ball over which cost us. Our turnovers continue to hold us back from our true potential. It is extremely frustrating, especially with how well we have played defensively in the half court."
The biggest differences in the game were the turnovers, points off of them and free throw shooting. Schuylkill converted 25 Fayette turnovers into 26 points while Fayette only turned the hosts over 13 times and could only score 10 points off of them. Fayette only made seven free throws in 12 attempts (58%) while Schuylkill made 19 of 22 attempts (86%).
Iman Young (Silver Springs, MD/West Potomac HS) recorded his ninth double-double of the season as he finished with 16 points and 15 rebounds. Trevor Laskody (Morgantown, WV/Trinity Christian HS) and Dom Boring (Lancaster, PA/Lancaster HS) both finished with 11 points while Tavian Mozie (McClellandtown, PA/Albert Gallatin HS) had a game-high six assists and also grabbed six rebounds.
Tariq Meredith led Schuylkill with 17 points.
On Saturday, neither team led by more than eight points, but Hazleton made enough plays to pull out the win.
"I thought we played extremely hard today on both ends of the floor, but Hazleton made the critical plays when it mattered most. We are still learning how to win with this group, and it was another learning experience for us. We'll continue to work on getting better."
The difference in the game was points in the paint as Hazleton held a 26-16 advantage.
Josh Hankins (Phoenix, AZ/Pinnacle HS) led Fayette with 19 points and Boring added 11. Young finished with a game-high 16 rebounds and added a pair of blocks.
Robbie Hopkins led Hazleton with 16 points.
Fayette, which is now 1-8 on the road this season, returns home to host Penn State DuBois (9-9, 5-7) Tuesday in a PSUAC game.
Tipoff is set for 8 PM.
For more information on the men's basketball team, go to https://www.psfathletics.com/sports/mbkb/index or follow us on Instagram @fayetteathletics.