Brandywine Women’s Basketball Duo Earns USCAA All-American Awards

Nikki Velez, Brandi James
Nikki Velez, Brandi James

MEDIA, Pa. -- The United States Collegiate Athletic Association released its women's basketball all-Americans on Tuesday night at its end-of-year banquet and a pair of student-athletes from Penn State Brandywine were honored as sophomore Nikki Velez (Gloucester, N.J./Gloucester City) was selected to the first team and junior Brandi James (Glenolden, Pa./Interboro) was named honorable mention.

Now a two-time USCAA First Team All-American, Velez paced Brandywine in scoring for the second-straight year at 15.0 points per game. One of the top three-point threats in the USCAA, Velez tied for sixth nationally by shooting 40 percent from beyond the arc, while her 68 total triples led the Penn State University Athletic Conference and stand as the eighth-highest total in the USCAA.

Velez knocked down at least one three-pointer in 23-of-24 games this season and has 52-of-54 games during her two-year career. She ended the season by shooting nearly 68 percent from three-point range during her final four games, burying 19-of-28 triples during that time.

The only first team all-American in Brandywine women's basketball history, Velez also ranks near the top of the USCAA in steals, producing 2.8 thefts per game, tied for 15th-best.

James, who claimed second team all-conference laurels from the Penn State University Athletic Conference, is Brandywine's second-leading scorer, averaging 11.4 points per game, and top rebounder at 7.6 per outing. She netted at least 10 points in 20 of the 27 games she played for the PSUAC champion Lions, while also grabbing at least 10 rebounds on seven occasions.

A 49 percent shooter from the field, James ranked 10th in the USCAA in field goal percentage. She also collected six double-doubles, a team-high total.

Brandywine (21-6), which won its second-straight conference title, is the No. 5 seed in the USCAA Tournament and will face No. 4 Warren Wilson Thursday night at 7:30 pm in the quarterfinal round.