Lady Lions head straight to the PSUAC Championship after semifinal win

Jimya shoots from the paint.
Jimya shoots from the paint.

Monaca, Pa. – The Penn State Beaver women's basketball team battled its way past the two-time defending champion Penn State Brandywine in the PSUAC Semifinals on Friday night and secured a spot in the conference championship match. 

Freshman forward Jimya Chambers (Phoenix/Westview) lead the way for Beaver tonight, scoring 16 points, eight rebounds and five assists followed by freshman guard Emily Keener (Utica), who earned 14 points, six rebounds and two assists steal for the day.

Junior forward Cheyenne Lopez (Center Roswell/Goddard) and freshman forward Mikayla Womer (Jackson/Lakeview) had notable performances, each contributing 13 points in the game.

1st quarter: Beaver had trouble early in the game after Brandywine made a 12-2 run in the first six minutes. Late in the quarter, Two-time PSUAC Player of the Week sophomore guard Diamond Thomas (Pittsburgh/Carlynton) and PSUAC Player of the Week freshman guard Alexis Cross (Columbiana) each contributed a pair of free throws to get Beaver back on track and cut Brandywine's lead down to only two scores at 16-10. The Lady Lions ended the first down by 8 points (18-10).

2nd quarter: The Lady Lions caught their second wind in the first three minutes, with Chambers draining two back-to-back jumpers to bring the score to 20-15. Then at 5:44, momentum really began to swift Beaver's way after a layup by Chambers made it only a 2-point game (22-20). The Lady Lions were then able to tie the game after Keener fed the ball to Chamber, who then knocked down a 3-pointer (26-26). Then, with only five seconds to go before halftime, Womer made a late-layup give the team its first lead of the game, putting Beaver up by 2 points to wrap up the first half (32-30).

3rd quarter: After the break, Chambers got hot on offense to start the third, scoring 6 straight points to help Beaver pull ahead 38-32. In the latter half of the quarter, the Lady Lions locked down on defense and attacked the basket, taking over the game with a 15-2 run to bring the lead to 57-38 built the largest lead of 19 points with only 1:33 left in the quarter. Beaver outscored Brandywine 28-12 in the third and took a 60-42 lead heading into the final quarter.

4th quarter: Brandywine performed better offensively in the fourth, outscoring Beaver 17-14, but never got the deficit under 13 points and couldn't make a comeback. Beaver took down Brandywine 74-59 and headed to the next round of the playoffs.

Box Score Highlights: Beaver outshot Brandywine 45.8 percent to 38.6 percent from the field and 26.1 percent higher from 3-point range. Beaver also outshot Brandywine 18-10 on points off turnovers and also racked up seven more assists (19-12).

After taking down Brandywine tonight, the Lady Lions will travel to the Bryce Jordon Center to face Penn State Lehigh Valley in the PSUAC Championship on Sunday, Feb. 24. The game starts at 1 p.m.