Lions Pick Up PSUAC Victory At DuBois

Alyssa Abbonizio
Alyssa Abbonizio

DUBOIS, Pa. -- Brandi James (Glenolden, Pa./Interboro) and Nikki Velez (Gloucester, N.J./Gloucester City) combined for 32 points as Penn State Brandywine earned a 55-43 Penn State University Athletic Conference women's basketball victory on Friday night.

Velez and James each scored 16 points for the Lions, who remained unbeaten in conference play with a perfect 4-0 mark (8-5 overall). James connected on 5-of-6 field goals and 6-of-8 free throw attempts, while adding four rebounds. Velez, who was 7-of-17 shooting, also collected four assists, three steals and three rebounds. Her 39-game streak of making at least one three-pointer came to an end after misfiring on all five attempts from beyond the arc, marking only the second time in her 43-game career she did not bury a triple.

Alyssa Abbonizio (Springfield, Pa./Springfield) rounded out Brandywine's double-figure scorers with 10 points. Abbonizio and Madison D'Ambrosio (Springfield, Pa./Springfield) each pulled down seven rebounds, while Nicolette Napoleon (Springfield, Pa./Penn Charter) chipped in six points and seven rebounds.

Brandywine limited DuBois to just 26 percent shooting from the field, including 2-of-19 marksmanship from beyond the arc, as the Lions held their opponent below 50 points for the fourth time in their last six games. Brandywine shot 40 percent from the floor, while forcing 20 DuBois turnovers.

Abbonizio's triple midway through the first quarter opened up a 14-7 lead for the Lions, but the hosts cut the deficit to one point three minutes later. A jumper from D'Ambrosio and triple by Napoleon accounted for the final five points of the opening stanza as Brandywine led 19-13.

A three-point play from Velez gave Brandywine its biggest lead of the half at 24-15 with 5:25 to play. DuBois clawed as close as six points on two occasions before a Velez jumper during the Lions' final possession sent Brandywine into the half with a 30-22 lead.

DuBois came within five points twice during the first two minutes of the second half, but Brandywine held the hosts to just four points over the final 8:27 of the stanza and brought a 40-33 edge entering the final quarter.

Brandywine's lead had been reduced to two points with 7:51 to play, but two James free throws pushed the margin back to two possessions. Four minutes later, the Lions were in front by three when Abbonizio and Napoleon hit back-to-back jumpers, swelling the edge to 48-41.

Grace Earle sank two free throws for DuBois, making the score 48-43 with 2:16 to play, but those would be DuBois' final points of the night. Velez and James combined for seven points over the final 1:56 to help put the game away.

Brandywine continues its weekend road trip Saturday at Penn State Mont Alto (2:00 pm).