Lady Lions fend off Brandywine, 65-59

Cheyenne under the hoop.
Cheyenne under the hoop.

By: Matylda Zamudio

Media, Pa. – After trailing by 4 points in the first half, the Penn State Beaver women's basketball team clawed its way back to earn a second conference win of the week against PSUAC rival Penn State Brandywine on Saturday afternoon.

Four of Beaver's starters earned double-digit points starting with two-time PSUAC Player of the Week sophomore guard Diamond Thomas (Pittsburgh/Carlynton) and PSUAC Player of the Week freshman guard Alexis Cross (Columbiana), who each racked up 17 points apiece.

Junior forward Cheyenne Lopez (Center Roswell/Goddard) earned a double-double with 11 points and 11 points in the game. Freshman guard Emily Keener (Utica) also contributed a notable 10 points for the day.

1st quarter: Beaver had a slow start in the first few minutes of the game and allowed an 11-3 run by Brandywine. At 4:13, Lopez hit a jumper from behind the arch and followed it up with a late-quarter layup to make it a two-score game at 1:53 (17-12). Beaver trailed 19-14 heading into the second quarter.

2nd quarter: At 5:54, freshman forward Jimya Chambers (Phoenix/Westview) knock down a 3-pointer of her own to bring Brandywine's lead down to 2 points (23-21). The game remained within 2 points down to the 23-second mark, but a late quarter foul by Beaver sent Brandywine to the line for two free-throw attempts, to which the rivals scored both and put Beaver in a 28-24 hole at halftime. 

3rd quarter: The teams were neck-to-neck for most of the third with Brandywine maintaining a slight edge for the first five minutes. At 4:04, the tables turned for Brandywine when Beaver took the lead after Cross found Keener for a 3-pointer (36-34), which Cross then followed up with her own behind the arch jumper to give Beaver a 5-point advantage (41-36). But with under a minute before the fourth, two fouls called on Beaver allowed Brandywine to bounce back and reclaimed the lead with the help of three scored free-throws (44-43).

4th quarter: Only down by 1 point, Thomas and Cross got Beaver back on top, combining for back-to-back 3-point shots less than two minutes in (49-44). At 3:45, a foul by Beaver afforded Brandywine a scored free-throw to bring Beaver's lead to a single point (55-54) and then tie the game 59-59 at 1:07, causing Beaver to call a time-out. After the break, Cross answered the call with a clutch 3-pointer (62-59). With 34 seconds left, Brandywine began to feel the pressure and fouled Beaver twice, allowing the Lions to score three out of four shots from the line and win the game by a final score of 65-59.

Box Score Highlights: Beaver outscored Penn State Brandywine 32-20 in the paint, 18-15 on points off turnovers, 13-11 on second-chance points, allotted five more rebounds and racked up four more assists. Beaver outscored Brandywine 22-15 in the fourth and also built its largest lead of 8 points at the 6:12 mark in the fourth quarter.

After today's win against Penn State Brandywine, the Lady Lions improve to an 8-1 record in the PSUAC standings and a 14-3 overall record for the regular season. The Lady Lions are on the road in their next game against Villa Maria College on Tuesday, Jan. 29. Game time is at 6 p.m.