NEW KENSINGTON, Pa. -- Penn State Brandywine survived a late scare from Penn State New Kensington as the Lions held on to win their Penn State University Athletic Conference men's basketball regular-season finale on Saturday by a score of 88-85.
With the victory, Brandywine (14-11, 10-9) has earned the No. 3 seed from the PSUAC East Division and will face East No. 2 Penn State York on Tuesday night in a conference quarterfinal matchup. Brandywine, the defending PSUAC champion, is competing in back-to-back PSUAC Tournaments for the first time in six years.
Brandywine controlled play early, leading 11-2 less than four minutes into the game, before extending the margin to 16-4 on Dean Kane's (Broomall, Pa./Marple Newtown) layup at the 14:47 mark.
The Lions continued to lead by double figures, but a 14-8 spurt by New Kensington helped the hosts climb within 34-30 with under two minutes to go in the first half. After Bryce Barrouk (Glen Mills, Pa./Rustin) sank a layup and Jacob Hunt (Wilmington, Del./Brandywine) connected on two free throws during the final minute, New Kensington netted three points over the final 14 seconds to get the deficit to five points at the break.
Hunt buried a triple, spurring a 9-0 run to start the second period. Brandywine led by 14 points after a layup by Gallagher at the 17:44 mark, but New Kensington quickly trimmed the margin to just five less than three minutes later.
New Kensington continued to hang around, closing the gap to three points on a trio of occasions, the last of which coming when Jakob Richardon set down a layup with 4:19 left on the clock. After a free throw brought the score to 83-81, Barrouk came through clutch, burying a triple to push the Lions' lead back to five points.
The hosts netted four consecutive points to make it a one-point game with 35 seconds remaining, but Josh Smith's (Glassboro, N.J./Glassboro) put-back layup made the count 88-85 with 14 seconds to go. New Kensington misfired on a potential game-tying three-pointer and after gathering the offensive rebound, its final shot was deemed to have come after the buzzer sounded as Brandywine survived.
All five starters poured in double figures for Brandywine, paced by Hunt's 22-point effort. Anthony Lattanzi (Downingtown, Pa./Downingtown West) added 14 points, while Smith and Barrouk both netted 12 and Gallagher posted 10 points. Each of Brandywine's nine players in the box score tallied at least four points.
The Lions dished out assists on half of their 36 made field goals, topped by Gallagher's career-high eight helpers. Barrouk collected seven rebounds, while Gallagher, Hunt and Lattanzi each pulled in six and Smith gathered five boards.
Brandywine shot 46 percent from the field and forced 19 turnovers as Hunt and Lattanzi both posted four steals.