Brandywine Edges Valley Forge 72-67; Wins Second-Straight

Brandi James
Brandi James

MEDIA, Pa. -- Dana D'Ambrosio (Secane, Pa./Ridley), Brandi James (Glenolden, Pa./Interboro) and Nikki Velez (Gloucester, N.J./Gloucester City) combined for 54 points to lead the Penn State Brandywine women's basketball team past Valley Forge by a score of 72-67 on Thursday night.

Velez led the way with 21 points on 7-of-14 shooting (4-7 3PT), while James produced a double-double with 20 points and a game-high 14 rebounds. D'Ambrosio netted 13 points on 6-for-13 shooting and dished out four assists. Velez and D'Ambrosio both collected six steals as Brandywine forced 26 Patriot turnovers.

Brandywine jumped out to an early 5-0 lead, but Valley Forge quickly erased the deficit, tying the game at 7-7 at the midway point of the first quarter. Ginamarie McNamee (Aston, Pa./Interboro) knocked down back-to-back baskets to help Brandywine retake the lead by four and the Lions would hold the same margin at the conclusion of the opening period.

The teams traded the lead throughout the second quarter. Valley Forge held a 31-29 edge, but D'Ambrosio canned a jumper, Velez sank a layup and James added two free throws during the final 1:05 of the second quarter to push Brandywine in front 35-31 at the break.

The Lions used a quick, 7-0 spurt, capped by a Velez triple, to establish the largest lead of the game at 42-34 early in the third. The Patriots chipped away, tying the score at 46-46 on Carlee Conrad's triple, but McNamee sank a layup with 20 seconds left to send Brandywine to the fourth quarter holding a 53-49 advantage.

With under three minutes to go in regulation, Valley Forge took its first lead of the second half, scoring four-straight points to jump ahead 65-64; however, Madison D'Ambrosio (Springfield, Pa./Springfield) answered with a bucket at the 2:12 mark and Velez followed with a triple to put the Lions in front for good. Madison D'Ambrosio knocked down three free throws during the final 18 seconds to secure the victory.

Brandywine, which received nine points from McNamee and seven from Madison D'Ambrosio, shot 38 percent from the field, while Valley Forge connected on 44 percent of its shots from the floor. The Lions held a 44-34 edge on the boards and snagged 20 offensive rebounds, including 10 from James.

Brandywine (3-4, 1-0 PSUAC) hosts Penn State Mont Alto Friday night at 6:00 PM. Velez will enter the game needing 21 points to reach 1,000 for her career.