Men’s Basketball Make It To the Second Round


Christopher Palm

Zegary Scott III shoots a three to move the Lions past Penn College

The second half of the season proved 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 canceled, 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 road wins over Gallaudet, Penn State Berks and Penn College to start the new year.

Donyae Baylor-Carroll was credited with 51 points and 14 assists combined with Dylan Daniels recording a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds in the win over Gallaudet.

The Harrisburg Lions posted its highest single-game point total of the season, scoring 103 points in their win over Penn State Berks.

Nate Curry and Zegary Scott III netted 15 points apiece while Curry was credited with eight rebounds with Scott recording 9 assists in that game.

“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), extending their winning streak to 10 games with a dominant win over Penn State Abington 89-44.

“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 continued in a rematch of the 2020 United East championship game against conference rival Lancaster Bible as the Lions dominated over the Chargers in a 93-76 win.

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 our 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 traveled across New York to take on Morrisville State, holding the Mustangs off 80-72 and extending their streak to 13 games.

The winning streak soon ended on the road as St. Mary’s made a last-second effort to upset 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 form, dominating over Penn State Berks at home with an 89-39 victory, the team’s largest margin of victory this season.

A few days later, the Lions took on Penn College in a tight contest at the CUB on a Wednesday night with the Lions winning 79-61, sweeping the Wildcats.

The following day, a rematch with St. Mary’s saw redemption on home court as 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 a close first half between the Lions and the Bison, the Lions used the 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.  Scott was credited with six assists with Rodriguez credited with 14 points and eight rebounds.

Unfortunately, the regular season did not end as the team hoped for, losing to Lancaster Bible on the road 72-57.

However, the loss did not stop them from bouncing back in the United East Conference tournament.

After beating St. Mary’s in the semifinal 77-67, the Lions found redemption in dominating form over Lancaster Bible, winning 85-52 to win the United East Conference championship.

Curry was named tournament MVP shooting 11 of 13 with 25 points, six rebounds, two assists and two steals to his credit.

“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.”

As an automatic qualifier, the Harrisburg Lions traveled to Worcester, Mass. for the NCAA Division III Tournament.

In their first round game, the Lions put their overall teamwork to use in upsetting a high-ranked St. Joseph (Conn.) 63-53 with Coleman, Baylor-Carroll, Scott and Curry combining 45 points and Rodriguez recording 10 rebounds.

March Madness would soon end for the Lions as Worcester Polytechnic Institute sealed their season with a 72-52 loss.

“We support each other,” said head coach Don Friday, “I think the joy of that and that hope kept us focused so that this team kept our relationships together.”

Despite many setbacks that resulted in successes, the Harrisburg Lions proved a strong staying power for future seasons to come.

(This is an update to the previous story on Men’s Basketball.)