Huskies dunk on West Chester

Matt Rushforth, Sports Editor

The number two-seeded Bloomsburg University women’s basketball team defeated number three-seeded West Chester University by a score of 58-52 in the quarterfinal round of the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) tournament. With the win, the Huskies advance to the semifinal matchup against number one-seeded Indiana University of PA (IUP) on Saturday, March 9 at 1 p.m.

The Huskies were led by sophomore forward Megan Brandt, who poured in a career-high 18 points for Bloomsburg in the victory, along with the Huskies first 10 points of the contest. Emma Saxton finished right behind Brandt with 17 points of her own, including a clutch three-point play late in the game to regain the lead.

Bloomsburg returned home for the playoff matchup after a 19-9 overall record (14-6 PSAC) along with a perfect 13-0 home record during the regular season. This was Bloomsburg’s best record at home since the 2011-12 season where the Huskies went 13-1 at the Nelson Field House.

The first half was all West Chester as the Huskies had trouble getting comfortable early into the game. The Golden Rams were led by sophomore guard Destiny Jefferson who went on to score 19 points along with six rebounds for the Golden Rams.

West Chester took a 27-22 lead into the locker room at halftime, but the momentum shifted soon after. Bloomsburg went on to outscore West Chester 19-12 in the third quarter as the fourth quarter began with Bloomsburg on top, 41-39 as the Huskies finally got things working.

The fourth quarter brought plenty of intensity as the crowd of more than 500 at the Nelson Field House finally came alive. The close matchup between the teams became even closer as neither squad was able to run away with the lead heading late into the fourth quarter.

A Justyn Roberts layup with four minutes remaining gave West Chester a 52-51 lead with just under four minutes to play. The score stayed the same up until a Bloomsburg timeout with one-minute remaining in the contest.

The Huskies came out running after the timeout as Emma Saxton used her quickness off of a pick to drive to the basket and score while getting fouled. A made free-throw to complete the three point play gave Bloomsburg a 54-52 lead with under a minute to play.

West Chester failed to get anything going late in the fourth as number two-seeded Bloomsburg was able to escape and preserve a 58-52 win and a spot in the final four of the PSAC tournament.

With a number one-seeded Kutztown win over Lock Haven, the Huskies will travel to Kutztown, PA to play their final four matchup against IUP. Tip-off is set for 1 p.m. on Saturday, March 9.