Brandywine Claims Conference Opener 68-53 At Lehigh Valley

Nikki Velez
Nikki Velez

ALLENTOWN, Pa. -- Nikki Velez (Gloucester, N.J./Gloucester City) and Brandi James (Glenolden, Pa./Interboro) combined for 47 points as Penn State Brandywine won a battle of two of the top teams in Penn State University Athletic Conference women's basketball, topping Penn State Lehigh Valley 68-53 on Saturday afternoon.

Velez set a career high with 27 points by burying five three-pointers and 8-of-14 field goal attempts overall, while also hitting 6-of-7 free throws. She also collected six rebounds and four assists.

James registered her second double-double of the season with 20 points and 12 rebounds. She connected on all 10 of her free throw attempts and 5-of-9 field goal tries.

Brandywine, which led wire-to-wire, owned a 28-26 edge at halftime, but broke the game open by outscoring Lehigh Valley 23-6 during the third quarter.

The Lions held a 53-41 margin on the boards as six of the eight players who saw action pulled in at least six rebounds. Kendra Stanford (Philadelphia, Pa./William Bodine) and Nicolette Napoleon (Springfield, Pa./Penn Charter) both hauled in nine rebounds, while Chrissy Gledhill (Secane, Pa./Cardinal O'Hara) and Crystal Miller (Pleasant Valley, N.Y./Arlington) each recorded seven boards.

Gledhill added nine points and Stanford netted eight, while Miller blocked a pair of shots.

Brandywine held Lehigh Valley to 26 percent shooting overall and just one three-pointer on 15 attempts from beyond the arc. The Lions sank 21-of-23 free throws.

Brandywine (4-3, 1-0 PSUAC) is back on its home floor Tuesday night against Penn State York at 6:00 pm.