MEDIA, Pa. -- For the first time in the 49-year history of the program, Penn State Brandywine can lay claim to being the No. 1 team in Penn State University Athletic Conference men's basketball as the Lions won their first-ever league crown on Sunday, edging third-seeded Penn State Wilkes Barre 70-63 in front of a raucous home crowd.
Brandywine's championship victory completed one of the best turnarounds at any level of college basketball this season as the Lions, who won six games in 2016-17 and a combined 20 during the past four seasons, earned their 20th victory of the year under the direction of first-year Head Coach Ben Kay. Brandywine, playing in its first conference championship game in 27 years, owns 20 victories for the first time since 2005-06.
As the champion of the PSUAC, Brandywine has earned the conference's automatic bid to the United States Collegiate Athletic Association Tournament in Uniontown, Pa., next week. The Lions will learn their seeding and first round opponent Tuesday evening.
Brandywine, which battled past Wilkes Barre in double overtime when the teams met during the regular season, overcame an 18-0 surge by the visitors early in the second half, by answering with 11-straight points and took the lead for good when Donte Winfield (Philadelphia, Pa./Simon Gratz) sank a layup with 4:26 to go.
Winfield scored six consecutive points following Wilkes Barre's 18-0 run before Terrence Brown (Philadelphia, Pa./Communications Tech) netted the next five, to put Brandywine, which had trailed by 10 points four minutes earlier, in front 43-42.
After the teams swapped three-pointers during the next three minutes, Brown knocked down two free throws to knot the score at 50-50 and 25 seconds later, Winfield's driving layup gave the Lions the lead. With 2:30 to play, Winfield gave Brandywine the momentum and a six-point edge by converting a three-point play.
Wilkes Barre cut the deficit as low as four points during the final 60 seconds, but Brown, Winfield and Ameer Staggs (Ridley, Pa./Ridley) combined to shoot 10-for-10 from the free throw line during the final minute to secure the Lions' first PSUAC crown.
Winfield poured in 25 points to lead all scorers. The honorable mention all-conference point guard shot 9-of-14 from the field, while grabbing five rebounds.
Brown, a first team all-conference selection, added 22 points and 10 boards, his ninth double-double of the season. James Fisher (Philadelphia, Pa./Upper Darby), who was named Second Team All-PSUAC, recorded nine points, passing Jamil Nelson for third all-time in scoring at Brandywine with 1,191 career points, while Staggs totaled 10 points and seven boards.
Brandywine shot 24-of-30 from the free throw line and held a 40-37 edge on the boards. The Lions limited Wilkes Barre to 38 percent shooting and forced 16 turnovers.
The USCAA will announce the national tournament bracket online Tuesday evening at 5:30 pm.
March 2, 2018 Lions' Dream Season Concludes In USCAA Semifinals
February 27, 2018 Men’s Basketball Makes First-Ever Trip To USCAA Tournament
February 20, 2018 Brandywine Basketball Teams Learn Seeding, USCAA First Round Opponents
February 19, 2018 Seniors Land PSUAC Men’s Basketball Honors
February 18, 2018 Brandywine Claims First-Ever PSUAC Men’s Basketball Championship
February 17, 2018 Brandywine Tops York 80-69; Advances To First Title Game In 27 Years
February 16, 2018 Men’s Basketball Returns To Postseason; Hosts PSUAC Semifinals Saturday
February 9, 2018 Seniors Pace Brandywine To Victory In Regular-Season Finale
February 6, 2018 York Downs Brandywine 78-73
February 6, 2018 Brandywine Basketball Celebrating Senior Class Friday Night
February 3, 2018 Lions Battle Past Schuylkill 86-81
February 2, 2018 Brandywine Runs Past Hazleton, Into Postseason
January 30, 2018 Second-Half Surge Sparks Brandywine To Sweep Of Mont Alto
January 27, 2018 Brandywine Holds Off New Kensington For 76-62 Victory
January 26, 2018 Brandywine Claims Key PSUAC Victory In Overtime
January 23, 2018 Brandywine Overcomes Williamson In Final Non-Conference Test
January 20, 2018 GA Drops Brandywine In Double Overtime
January 19, 2018 Brandywine Holds Off Late Beaver Rally For 70-57 Win
January 15, 2018 Brandywine Outlasts Wilkes Barre 109-100 In Double Overtime
January 13, 2018 Brown Helps Brandywine Bounce Back At Mont Alto
January 12, 2018 DuBois Sends Brandywine To First PSUAC Loss
January 10, 2018 USCAA Selects Fisher National Player Of The Week
January 3, 2018 Late Run Propels Haverford Past Brandywine
December 20, 2017 Alvernia Halts Brandywine’s Winning Streak At Seven
December 9, 2017 Lions Run Away From Scranton, 84-57
December 5, 2017 Brown Lands PSUAC Player Of The Week Award
December 5, 2017 Fisher Reaches 1,000 Career Points In Victory Over York
December 2, 2017 Lions' Winning Run Reaches Five Games With Road Victory
November 30, 2017 Brandywine Displays Historic Offensive Showcase In Rout Of Davis
November 29, 2017 Midnight Madness Basketball Games Coming To Brandywine Dec. 8
November 28, 2017 PSUAC Names Tindley Player Of The Week
November 28, 2017 Brandywine Opens PSUAC Slate With Victory At Schuylkill
November 26, 2017 Brandywine Fends Off Valley Forge; Evens Record At 2-2
November 21, 2017 Brandywine Picks Up First Victory, 90-83, At Abington
November 18, 2017 Brandywine Downed By Penn In The Palestra
November 17, 2017 Men's Basketball Ready For Palestra Showdown With Penn
November 15, 2017 McDaniel Clips Brandywine In Season Opener
November 14, 2017 Basketball Season Tips Off Wednesday
October 24, 2017 Tickets Available For Men’s Basketball Versus Penn At The Palestra
September 7, 2017 Coach Kay Using Basketball To Create A Social Change In Jamaica
August 7, 2017 Men’s Basketball To Face Penn At The Palestra