Men’s Basketball Returns To Postseason; Hosts PSUAC Semifinals Saturday

Isaiah Lester
Isaiah Lester

MEDIA, Pa. -- After missing out on the postseason in four-straight seasons, the Penn State Brandywine men's basketball team will return to the Penn State University Athletic Conference Tournament this Saturday as the second-seeded Lions host No. 3 Penn State York at 5:00 pm in the semifinal round.

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Brandywine last reached the postseason during the 2012-13 season when the Lions finished third in the regular season standings. After knocking off Penn State Scranton in the quarterfinals, Brandywine dropped a semifinal game at the Bryce Jordan Center in State College to Penn State Beaver.

After winning just six games last season and a combined 20 games during its four-year postseason drought, Brandywine enters the PSUAC Tournament with a record of 18-7. Under the direction of first-year Head Coach Ben Kay, Brandywine's 12-win increase over the previous winter is one of the top turnarounds at any level of college basketball this year.

Brandywine's 17 wins are tied for the fourth-highest single-season total in program history. Only the 2007-08 (18 wins), 2005-06 (21) and 1992-93 (25) have won more games in a season.

A win on Saturday would send Brandywine to its first conference championship appearance in 17 years and just its third all-time. Brandywine suffered an 84-82 defeat in State College against Penn State New Kensington during the 1990-91 season after also making an appearance in the 1988-89 CCAC title game where the Lions were defeated by Penn State Altoona.

Since knocking out Penn State Berks in the 1990-91 CCAC semifinals, Brandywine has dropped its last five PSUAC semifinal appearances. The Lions advanced to the semifinals during the 1992-93, 2005-06, 2007-08, 2011-12 and 2012-13 seasons.

Brandywine and York have met once previously in the PSUAC Tournament. During the 2011-12 quarterfinals, Brandywine produced an 86-82 victory over York behind 27 points from Rasheed Wilkins, the program's second all-time leading scorer.

In two matchups this winter, Brandywine and York split the season series with each team winning on its home floor. James Fisher knocked down five three-pointers and topped the team with 15 points, seven assists and four steals during the Lions' 85-66 victory in December, while Donte Winfield poured in 33 points 10 days ago when Brandywine suffered a 78-73 setback.

Brandywine features one of the top offenses in the conference as the Lions are tied with Penn State Greater Allegheny for the league lead, averaging 84.4 points per game. Brandywine's senior trio of Fisher, Winfield and Terrence Brown all averaged more than 14 points per outing during the regular season. The Lions also top the conference in free throw shooting and turnovers forced. Brandywine forces its opponents into 21.1 turnovers per game, four more than any other team in the PSUAC.

Brandywine is the only campus to have both its men's and women's team represented this weekend. The women's team owns the No. 1 seed in the tournament and faces No. 4 Penn State Schuylkill at 1:00 pm Saturday evening.

The winner of Saturday's game advances to face the winner of the No. 1 Greater Allegheny - No. 4 Wilkes Barre game on Sunday at 1:00 pm in the PSUAC Championship.

York Downs Brandywine 78-73
February 6, 2018 York Downs Brandywine 78-73