MEDIA, Pa. -- Penn State Brandywine outscored Penn State Hazleton 31-4 over the final 11 minutes as the Lions clinched their first Penn State University Athletic Conference Men's Basketball Tournament bid since 2012-13 following an 80-59 victory on Friday night.
With three games remaining in the regular season, Brandywine controls its own destiny for the top seed in the PSUAC Tournament with an 11-2 league mark (16-6 overall). After winning a total of 20 games during the last four seasons, Brandywine can finish no lower than fifth place.
Brandywine led through the entire first half, posting its largest lead of the stanza when Chima Lawrence (Wilmington, Del./Concord) dropped in a layup to make the score 26-12 with 7:24 to go. Hazleton answered with 11-straight points and 16 of the final 22 during the half, including a long three-pointer by Robbie Hopkins just before the buzzer, to pull within four at intermission.
Hazleton continued to surge early in the second, taking its first lead when Hopkins buried a triple at the 17:30 mark. The visitors' lead swelled to eight points with 13 minutes to go and stood at 55-49 after Hopkins connected on another three-pointer with just over 11 minutes remaining, but the remainder of the game would belong to Brandywine.
Following a timeout, Brandywine reeled off 10-straight points in a span of 3:07 to retake the lead. Jonathan Fogarty sank a layup with 6:17 to play to end the run and make the score 60-57 in favor of Brandywine, but the Lions limited their guests to one made field goal the rest of the way, closing the game with a 20-2 surge.
A trio of Lions sparked the game-ending run by combining for all 20 points as Quentin Beasley (Philadelphia, Pa./Bishop McDevitt) poured in 10 points, Isiah Cook (Reading, Pa./Reading) buried two triples and Terrence Brown (Philadelphia, Pa./Communications Tech) added five points during the final six minutes.
Brown produced an 11-point, 11-rebound double-double, while Cook finished with nine points. Ameer Staggs (Ridley, Pa./Ridley) shot 8-of-12 from the field and 4-of-4 at the charity stripe, finishing with a team-high 20 points, along with eight boards and three steals. Donte Winfield (Philadelphia, Pa./Simon Gratz) collected 14 points, seven assists and four rebounds, while Beasley tallied 12 points in 13 minutes of action.
Brandywine connected on 16-of-18 free throws and shot 46 percent from the field, while holding Hazleton to 38 percent shooting overall and 2-of-18 marksmanship during the final 11 minutes.
Brandywine returns to its home court Saturday afternoon for a 3:00 pm game against Penn State Schuylkill.
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