MONT ALTO, Pa. – Penn State Brandywine officially secured the No. 1 seed in next week's Penn State University Athletic Conference Women's Basketball Tournament following a 64-42 victory over Penn State Mont Alto during the teams' regular-season finale on Friday night.
As the No. 1 seed, Brandywine owns home-court advantage during the first two rounds of the tournament before it moves to the Bryce Jordan Center for the championship round on March 1. The Lions will make their 16th-straight trip to the postseason, the last 14 of which have come under Head Coach Larry Johnson.
Nikki Velez (Gloucester, N.J./Gloucester City) led Brandywine with 23 points and six rebounds, while Madison D'Ambrosio (Springfield, Pa./Springfield) produced six points, seven rebounds and four steals. Ally Giannakarios (Brookhaven, Pa./Sun Valley) paced the Brandywine reserves that outscored Mont Alto's bench 25-5 with eight points.
Velez broke a 10-10 tie with a three-pointer, starting a 9-2 spurt that put the Lions on top 19-12 after one quarter. Brandywine continued to run away, holding Mont Alto without a point for nearly five minutes to begin the second quarter, as the lead swelled to 28-12 behind five Velez points and baskets from Amanda Floyd (Glenolden, Pa./Interboro), Dairayonna Stewart-Harold (New Castle, Del./William Penn) and Dana D'Ambrosio (Secane, Pa./Ridley).
Brandywine led 34-19 at the half and increased the margin to 52-29 by the end of the third quarter. The Lions were never threatened during the fourth period, leading by as many as 28 points following Hope Coacher's (Ardmore, Pa./Haverford) free throw with 3:28 to go.
Floyd chipped in seven points, while Dana D'Ambrosio added six points for Brandywine, which shot 45 percent from the field and limited Mont Alto to 29 percent shooting.
Brandywine forced 27 Mont Alto turnovers, scoring 31 points off miscues, and held a 41-32 edge on the boards.
The Lions (18-7, 14-4 PSUAC), who have now won at least 18 games in eight-straight seasons, will host No. 4 Penn State Wilkes-Barre Tuesday at 7:00 pm in a PSUAC Tournament quarterfinal.