Women’s Basketball Makes 12th-Straight PSUAC Semifinal Appearance Saturday

Nikki Velez
Nikki Velez

MEDIA, Pa. -- No. 1 Penn State Brandywine begins its postseason journey on Saturday in the conference semifinals against No. 4 Penn State Schuylkill as the Lions look to repeat as Penn State University Athletic Conference women's basketball champions. Brandywine will be serving as host for both the men's and women's tournaments beginning Saturday with the Lions' 1:00 pm game against Schuylkill.

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Noteworthy:

• Brandywine has now reached the PSUAC semifinals during all 12 years of Head Coach Larry Johnson's tenure. The Lions are 6-5 during their previous 11 trips to the semifinals under Johnson.

• Brandywine has won five conference championships all-time, with three coming during Johnson's tenure, including a title in 2016-17. The team also won crowns in 2010-11 and 2006-07 under Johnson's guidance and in 1998-99 and 1992-93 when the league was known as the Commonwealth Campus Athletic Conference.

• Since the beginning of the 2009-10 season, Brandywine has won 12-straight games over Schuylkill. The Lions received 21 points from Nikki Velez and a 14-point, 14-rebound double-double from Crystal Miller to defeat Schuylkill on their home floor two weeks ago during the teams' lone meeting this winter.

• The teams have met once previously in the postseason. Brandywine claimed a 63-53 victory over Schuylkill during the 2006-07 PSUAC title game. That Brandywine team featured three 1,000-point scorers - Cara Zibelman, Deanna Gineitis and Dana Johnson - who combined for 44 points in the title game. Zibelman scored her 1,000th career point during the championship victory.

• Entering the postseason, Brandywine owns a 19-6 overall record, its sixth-straight season with at least 18 wins. A Brandywine win on Saturday would give the Lions a 20-win season for the fourth time in the last 12 years

• Velez owns 60 three-pointers in 22 games this season, tied for the PSUAC lead with Lehigh Valley's Hannah Bankes. Velez topped the conference with 81 triples as a freshman last winter.

• Saturday's matchup features the top two defensive teams in the PSUAC. Brandywine allowed a league-low 54.9 points per game in 14 conference contests, while Schuylkill ranked second at 56.9 points per outing. Brandywine also forced 21.9 turnovers per game, good for second in the PSUAC.

• Brandywine is the only campus to have both its men's and women's team represented this weekend. The men's team owns the No. 2 seed in the tournament and faces No. 3 Penn State York at 5:00 pm Saturday evening.

• The winner of Saturday's game advances to face the winner of the No. 2 Lehigh Valley - No. 3 Beaver game on Sunday at 3:30 pm in the PSUAC Championship.