Women’s Basketball Begins 2018-19 At Rosemont Saturday

Brandi James
Brandi James

MEDIA, Pa. -- The 2018-19 season begins Saturday at Rosemont for the two-time defending PSUAC champion Penn State Brandywine women's basketball team.

After winning back-to-back conference titles for the first time in program history and claiming the fourth championship during Head Coach Larry Johnson's 13-year tenure, Brandywine returns a pair of all-Americans in senior Brandi James and junior Nikki Velez.

Velez, the only two-time first team all-American in program history, was once again the top three-point shooter in the conference, knocking down 72 triples in 26 games. She poured in at least 20 points seven times en route to averaging a team-best 14.8 points per game. Velez, who also topped the team with 70 steals, enters her third season at Brandywine needing 103 points to reach 1,000 for her career.

James, a starter in all 29 games, paced Brandywine by averaging 7.5 rebounds per game, while also adding 11.7 points per outing, a career best mark. She produced seven double-doubles and ranked third in the conference as a 50 percent shooter from the field. James also has an opportunity to reach 1,000 points as she owns 744 points in 85 games.

James is one of five seniors on Brandywine's experienced roster that features 10 upperclassmen and six newcomers. Nicolette Napoleon, who recently completed her Brandywine volleyball career as the PSUAC East Player of the Year, has averaged 3.2 points per outing in 86 career games. Brandi Johnson collected 3.3 points per game in 14 games during the 2016-17 season, while Barbara Johnson has made 54 appearances and Beatrice Oladeji has played in 43 games during their three seasons with the Lions.

Junior Madison D'Ambrosio, the Lions' fourth-leading scorer and second-leading rebounder in 2017-18 also returns. She averaged 7.8 points and 6.2 boards, while playing in all 29 games. 

Brandywine, the winningest team in the PSUAC during the last two years with 44 victories, reached the USCAA Tournament semifinals for the first time in five all-time appearances last season. Of those 44 victories, 29 have come against PSUAC teams.

Brandywine opens the conference portion of the schedule on Tuesday, Nov. 27 against Penn State Hazleton in the first of 17 league games this winter.

After visiting Rosemont on Saturday at 1:00 pm and Lancaster Bible on Monday, Brandywine plays its first home game of the season Wednesday night at 7:00 pm against Widener.