Behrend Earns Fourth Seed in AMCC Tournament With 84-74 Win
The Behrend Lions entered the Junker Center fighting for the #4
seed in the upcoming AMCC tournament, and defeated conference foe
Pitt-Bradford 84-74 on senior night. A large crowd of 734
fans participating in the Pink Zone breast cancer awareness program
witnessed an exciting second-half comeback by the blue and white to
earn the #4 seed for the conference tournament.
Early in the first half, the visiting Panthers had the hot hand, as Pitt-Bradford used a 17-2 run to break open a tied game and build a 25-10 lead after 12 minutes of play. The blue and white chipped away and got to within ten with four minutes to play at 29-19. Behrend then got points from four different players in the last three minutes to cut it to five points at the break as the Panthers led the Behrend Lions 35-30.
Kelly Nowacinski (Erie, Pa./Mercyhurst Prep) scored nine points in the first half on 4-of-7 shooting from the floor. Pitt-Bradford was aided by a significant advantage on the boards, out-rebounding the blue and white 29-17, but the Panthers committed 15 first-half turnovers.
Pitt-Bradford quickly pushed its lead to nine at 51-40 when Maria Costanza grabbed a steal and knocked down a 3-point bucket. The Behrend Lions would then respond with a 14-3 run and took the lead at 54-53 with just under 11 minutes to play off a layup by senior Natalie Engel (McDonald, Pa./Fort Cherry). The Panthers quickly regained the lead and held a small advantage until Behrend went ahead 64-63 on another bucket by Engel. It was a lead the blue and white would not relinquish. Behrend held a four-point advantage when Engel buried another three to put the blue and white up six (74-68) with 2:44 to play. Pitt-Bradford got within three but Behrend (13-11, 11-7) made its free throws down the stretch to earn the ten-point victory.
Engel, who was honored before the game along with fellow senior Ellen Kolos (Bellefonte/Bellefonte), finished with a game high 21 points connecting on 8-of-17 from the floor including three big buckets from long-range. Nowacinski finished with 19 points, Rachel Richardson (Moon Township, Pa./Moon Area) added 19 including 7-of-8 at the charity stripe, and Amy Oldach (Erie, Pa./Villa Maria Academy) chipped in with 12 points. Pitt-Bradford (11-14, 8-10) was led by Katie Moore's 19 points and Whitney Cline's 17 points.
The blue and white will host #5 seed Medaille on Tuesday, February 24 at 7:00 on the Junker Center hardwood. Behrend and Medaille split the season series with each team winning on its home court.