Men’s Basketball Turn Up the Heat in 2022


Christopher Palm

Alex Leiba drives to the hoop

The second half of the season is proving to be monumental for Penn State Harrisburg Men’s Basketball heading into 2022.

Picking up where they left off in mid-December before the winter break, the Harrisburg Lions prove to be in championship form in the United East Conference.

“We had that loss in the beginning,” said senior forward Brandon Coleman, “but I feel like we are still trying to work back and get everything back in order after being off for a year.”

Despite a non-conference game against Marymount being cancelled, the players and coaches were flexible with expecting the unexpected in regard to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

“We understood how things can happen and how we have had to be flexible without timing but I think we handled it very well,” said junior guard Chris Haynes.

The Lions continued their run heading into the spring semester with a trip to Washington, D.C., beating Gallaudet 87-53 to start the new year.

Donyae Baylor-Carroll was credited with 19 points and nine assists with Dylan Daniels recording a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds.

The Harrisburg Lions continued to put more into the win column, beating Penn State Berks on the road 103-64 and posting its highest single-game point total of the season.

Baylor-Carroll scored 19 points with Nate Curry and Zegary Scott III netting 15 points apiece.  Curry was credited with eight rebounds with Scott recording 9 assists in the game.

In Williamsport, the Lions’ winning streak continued with a win over Penn College 92-74, staying undefeated in conference play.

Scott led the Lions going into the second half, scoring a career-high 24 points with Coleman scoring 14, Baylor-Carroll with 13, and Daniels scoring 12 points with 7 rebounds.

“Everybody respects Zegary,” said Coleman. “He’s probably the most unselfish player on the team.  He wants to pass the ball and get other guys points most of the time.”

The next day, the Harrisburg Lions returned home to the Capital Union Building (CUB) and extended their winning streak to 10 games with a dominant win over Penn State Abington 89-44.

Baylor-Carroll, Curry and Haynes scored 12 points each with Scott recording 7 assists and Pedro Rodriguez with 6 rebounds.

“We are just focused on the next game,” said Haynes.  “We are taking every game, step by step, and not looking too far ahead.”

The winning streak would continue in a rematch of the 2020 United East championship game against conference rival Lancaster Bible.

The Lions dominated over the Chargers in the first half, moving on to a 93-76 win extending the streak to 11 games.

Baylor-Carroll continued the charge with 19 points with Curry and Daniels scoring 14 points apiece and Rodriguez adding 10 points to the team’s game total.

Heading into the second half of conference play, the Lions traveled to Wells College and cruised to a 12-game winning streak beating the Express 89-67.

Coleman led the team to a career-high 27 points, making 78.5 percent of his shots, while Baylor-Carroll tallied up 17 points for the Lions.

“We’re always going to give out opponents some respect,” said Coleman. “We just hope we’re going to get the same result that we did last time.”

The following day, the Lions would travel across New York to take on Morrisville State, holding the Mustangs off 80-72 and extending their streak to 13 games.

Baylor-Carroll recorded a game-high 24 points with seven assists while Curry and Coleman each scored 13 points in a game that saw close first-half action but enough for a Lions victory.

The 13-game winning streak would soon end on the road at St. Mary’s as the Seahawks made a last-second effort with a close upset over the Lions 74-73.

“Despite whatever we think about our opponent, we have always got to give them respect,” said Coleman.

The Harrisburg Lions came back in top-notch form, dominating over Penn State Berks at home with an 89-39 victory, the team’s largest margin of victory this season.

Baylor-Carroll continued the leading efforts with 18 points and four steals while Curry and Daniels each recorded 11 rebounds.

A few days later, the Lions took on Penn College in what was a tight contest at the CUB on a Wednesday night.

The Lions pulled away in the second half with Coleman scoring 22 points, Curry netting 18 points with six rebounds, and Baylor-Carroll credited with 12 points, five rebounds and six steals.

The Lions went on to win 79-61 over the Wildcats for another season sweep, moving to 18-2 overall and 11-1 in the United East.

The following day, a rematch with St. Mary’s saw redemption on home court at the Lions beat the Seahawks 81-53.

“We wanted to come back,” said Baylor-Carroll, “play with some energy and really take care of the job.”

Baylor-Carroll scored 25 points, including six three-pointers, five rebounds and six steals, while Daniels recorded 17 points with seven rebounds and seven blocks.

Ending the home season on a high note, the Lions sent the senior class out in style with a 90-57 victory over Gallaudet and finishing 13-0 at home.

After what was a close first half between the Lions and the Bison, the Lions used to second half to pull away with Rodriguez leading the way with 20 points, four rebounds and five steals.

“We grinded it out in the second half,” said Rodriguez.  “All the energy kind of went into a positive way into the game.”

The Lions continued the dominance on the road at Penn State Abington, beating the Abington Lions 82-61.

Daniels recorded a double-double with 20 points and 10 rebounds with Scott and Curry each scoring 16 points with Scott credited with six assists and Rodriguez credited with 14 points and eight rebounds.

“We know that we’ve got about two more weeks left until things start to ramp up,” said Baylor-Carroll.  “It’s a do-or-die situation.”

The Harrisburg Lions conclude the regular season on Saturday, February 19 at Lancaster Bible.