Brandywine Tops Hazleton In PSUAC Opener

Hope Coacher
Hope Coacher

MEDIA, Pa. -- Penn State Brandywine fell behind by 13 points after the first quarter, but outscored Penn State Hazleton 72-37 the rest of the way to claim its Penn State University Athletic Conference women's basketball opener by an 83-61 count on Tuesday night.

Brandywine fell into an early hole as Hazleton surged in front 18-5 after seven minutes. The visitors knocked down four three-pointers to grab the 13-point lead.

The Lions were sparked by their reserves, who accounted for all 16 points during a 16-0 run that got Brandywine back into the game. Hope Coacher (Ardmore, Pa./Haverford) grabbed an offensive rebound and sank a put-back layup to get the Lions within 24-11 after one quarter, beginning Brandywine's run of 16-straight points.

Coacher's bucket at the 6:13 mark of the second quarter capped the spurt and gave Brandywine its first lead of the game. The teams swapped baskets the rest of the way with Mckenzie Prutsman's jumper accounting for the final points of the half to give Hazleton a 32-30 edge at the break.

Spurred by a long run midway through the third quarter, Brandywine surged in front 52-39 on a triple from Madison D'Ambrosio (Springfield, Pa./Springfield) that capped a streak of 14-straight Brandywine points. Hazleton climbed back within seven, but Nikki Velez (Gloucester, N.J./Gloucester City) beat the third quarter buzzer with a layup to increase the margin to nine at 54-45.

Brandywine continued to run away during the final stanza, scoring the first 10 points to open up a 19-point edge. D'Ambrosio canned a jumper with 6:23 to go in regulation, sending Brandywine to its biggest advantage of the night at 72-47.

The Lions put five players in double-figure scoring, topped by Brandi James' (Glenolden, Pa./Interboro) 18 points. D'Ambrosio added 12 points and Coacher tallied 11, while Ginamarie McNamee (Aston, Pa./Interboro) and Velez both recorded 10.

Brandi Johnson (Media, Pa./Strath Haven) grabbed nine rebounds to lead Brandywine on the boards. James and Ally Giannakarios (Brookhaven, Pa./Sun Valley) both hauled in eight boards. Brandywine collected 18 steals, including a team-best four thefts from Madison Michael (Brookhaven, Pa./Sun Valley).

Brandywine (2-4, 1-0 PSUAC) is back on its home floor Thursday night for a non-conference game against Valley Forge beginning at 7:00 pm.