ERIE, Pa. – Aly Eagle scored 22 of her career-high 27 points in first 10 minutes of the second half to spark Penn State Behrend women's basketball come back and victory over Marywood 68-65 in the first round of the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Tournament on Wednesday night in the Junker Center.
The fourth-seeded Lions (20-7) relied on Eagle to battle back from an early 11-point deficit and Oldach's 11 second –half points to move into the semifinals at top-seed Waynesburg, a 68-62 winner over No. 8 Moravian tonight. Behrend will face the No. 1 Yellow Jackets on Saturday at 3 p.m.
The Pacers had three players in double figures led by Marielle Thorsen witih 20 points, five rebounds and five steals. Allison Bruet added 16 points and six steals.
Marywood forced 28 turnovers, but shot 47 percent from the free-throw line (10-for-21) and 18 percent from long distance to fall in its first-ever ECAC playoff appearance.
Out of the break and down by two at 22-20, Thorsen scored 11 of the 13 in the opening three minutes to turn the score around for a 33-22 lead.
At the 15:41 mark, it became the Eagle show. She went 4-for-5 from the charity stripe, drove in for the ensuing layup and then proceeded to knock in five three-pointers, including four straight. Eagle topped off her run, hitting the front end of two from the line to knot the game at 46-all and scoring the first 22 of Behrend's 24 points. Abby Henderson hit a pair of free throws in the mix.
After Eagle picked up her fourth foul, Oldach got a chance at her first points of the night. With 9:04 on the clock, the senior guard came alive and followed in Eagle's footsteps going 3-for-3 from behind the arc to keep the Lions out front at 57-54.
Oldach sparked a 10-1 run with two free throws and scored the next six out of eight points for a 68-59 lead with 1:16 left to play.
Marywood made the most of the time remaining and scores six unanswered points down the stretch, but Thorsen's triple attempt to tie the game with time expiring was short of the rim.
The first half looked identical to the second half. Marywood played tough defense and grabbed a 12-3 lead at the 13:36 mark. The Pacers held the Lions scoreless for the first six minutes, until Eagle dropped her first trey.
Behrend slowly chipped away at the lead and used a 19-8 to take a two-point advantage at halftime.
The win marks the fifth time the Lions have reached 20 wins in a season and fourth under head coach Roz Fornari.