Strong second half propels Colonels to first victory

Trailing by six points at halftime, the Colonels came out resilient in the second half and outscored PSU Hazelton 39-26 to win their season-opener 68-61.

Despite consistently struggling at the free throw line (60 percent) and from the three-point line (13 percent), the Colonels defense stepped up big to help seal the victory.

“It was a tough night for the team as a whole,” Wilkes point guard Jourdon Wilson commented on the Colonels’ scoring struggles. “It was the first game and it’s something we need to work on more in practice.”

With the home-opening victory, the Colonels improve to 1-0 while PSU Hazelton falls to 1-3.

Chris Shovlin, who last played college ball for Wilkes in 2006, returned to score 21 points and lead the Colonels. The G.A.R. High School graduate is the 18th all-time scorer in Pennsylvania high school basketball history with 2,564 points. Shovlin led the Colonels to the Freedom Conference championship game in 2006.

Tyler Breznitsky came off the bench to post 17 points, two assists and one steal; and Pat Furst finished with seven points for the Colonels.

Alex Akabogu led the Lions with 21 points, seven rebounds and three assists. Miguel Rodriguez added 14 points, while Vines contributed 13.

The Wilkes basketball team will open Freedom Conference playat 2 p.m. Nov. 25 against the Lycoming Warriors at the Marts Center.