MEDIA, Pa. -- Penn State Brandywine picked up a pivotal Penn State University Athletic Conference men's basketball victory on Wednesday night, holding off Penn State Schuylkill 80-67 to finish off a season sweep.
The victory, coupled with losses by Schuylkill and Lehigh Valley Wednesday night, pushes Brandywine three games in front of both teams with seven games to play in the race for the East Division's final playoff spot. The Lions are also one game behind Penn State Hazleton for the No. 3 seed.
Brandywine trailed by three early, but quickly vaulted into the lead behind a triple from Pat Gallagher (Broomall, Pa./Marple Newtown) and layups by Josh Smith (Glassboro, N.J./Glassboro) and Dwayne Coleman (Philadelphia, Pa./Delaware Valley Charter) during a 7-0 spurt.
Schuylkill closed within one at 17-16, but Brandywine countered with a 21-5 surge to extend its lead to 17 points. Anthony Lattanzi (Downingtown, Pa./Downingtown West) sandwiched a three-pointer and layup around Jacob Hunt's (Wilmington, Del./Brandywine) bucket to get the run started. Keyed by a pair of Schuylkill turnovers, Brandywine scored six points in a span of 53 seconds, with four coming on Gallagher fast-break layups, the last of which upped the margin to 30-19.
Naifes Smalls (Philadelphia, Pa./PE&T Charter) converted a three-point play with 2:31 to go in the first half, capping the run and swelling the lead to its largest at 38-21, but Schuylkill netted the stanza's final seven points to cut the deficit to 38-28 at the break.
The visitors continued to fight back in the second half, but each time Brandywine had an answer. Schuylkill narrowed the gap to five points with 12:39 to play; however, Coleman and Dean Kane (Broomall, Pa./Marple Newtown) countered with back-to-back layups to keep Schuylkill at bay. Two minutes later, after Schuylkill had charged to within two, Bryce Barrouk (Glen Mills, Pa./Rustin) canned a triple, starting a quick 8-2 spurt for the Lions.
Schuylkill got a close as four down with 3:49 to go, but Barrouk had the hot hand for Brandywine, hitting jumpers on three-straight possessions as the lead ballooned to double figures, where it would stay for the remainder of the game.
Barrouk scored 16 of his team-best 19 points in the second half, while Gallagher contributed four three-pointers en route to scoring 18 points. He also added five rebounds, four assists and two steals. Brandywine knocked down 11 three-pointers overall.
Lattanzi added 11 points and six boards, while Coleman grabbed a team-high 11 rebounds and added six points.
Brandywine (11-7, 7-5 PSUAC) will play on the road during six of its final seven games, beginning with a trip to Penn State DuBois on Friday for an 8:00 pm tip-off.
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