Brandywine Fends Off Schuylkill In First-Place Showdown

Madison D'Ambrosio
Madison D'Ambrosio

SCHUYLKILL HAVEN, Pa. – Penn State Brandywine built a 15-point lead and held off a late Penn State Schuylkill charge to take over sole possession of first place in Penn State University Athletic Conference Women's Basketball East Division following a 70-60 victory on Tuesday night.

Brandywine, now 5-1 in league play, sent Schuylkill to its second conference loss, while upping its overall record to 6-3. The Lions have now won four consecutive games.

Nikki Velez (Gloucester, N.J./Gloucester City) and Amanda Floyd (Glenolden, Pa./Interboro) each knocked down two jumpers as Brandywine was staked to an early 10-3 lead, but Schuylkill rallied to get within one at 12-11. The Lions limited the hosts to two points during the final 4:11 of the opening quarter and Floyd added two more baskets to build a 20-13 edge after one.

Aided by a three-pointer from Madison D'Ambrosio (Springfield, Pa./Springfield) and six points by Velez, Brandywine stretched the margin to 29-15 with 7:45 to go in the second period. Kira Thorne (Alconbury, England/Alconbury) converted a three-point play near the mid-point of the quarter, giving Brandywine its biggest lead of the night at 35-20; however, the Lions were limited to three free throws during the final 5:32 of the quarter as Schuylkill trimmed Brandywine's lead to 38-28 at the half.

Brandywine moved the margin back to double figures with a quick 7-0 spurt and led by 13 points with under two minutes remaining in the third, but the hosts scored the final seven points to get within 54-47 after three stanzas.

Schuylkill got as close as five points down before Velez and D'Ambrosio canned consecutive triples. The hosts had one more run in them, closing the Lions' lead to 66-60 with 40 seconds left, but Schuylkill came up empty during its final three possessions and Ginamarie McNamee (Glenolden, Pa./Interboro) and Velez combined to make 4-of-6 free throws to preserve the victory.

Velez knocked down five three-pointers and led all scorers with 25 points. She added four assists and two steals, while Floyd tallied 14 points on 7-of-13 shooting and grabbed five rebounds. D'Ambrosio produced a 10-point, 12-rebound double-double.

Brandywine forced 23 turnovers and limited Schuylkill to 32 percent shooting, while producing 15 assists on 25 baskets.

Brandywine plays for the second-straight night on Wednesday at Bryn Mawr beginning at 7:00 pm.

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