Eastern Ends Brandywine’s Winning Streak At Seven Games

Nikki Velez
Nikki Velez

MEDIA, Pa. -- Despite a total of 41 points from Brandi James (Glenolden, Pa./Interboro) and Nikki Velez (Gloucester, N.J./Gloucester City), the Penn State Brandywine women's basketball team saw its seven-game winning streak come to an end at the hands of Eastern University as the Eagles scored a 75-61 victory over Brandywine on Saturday afternoon.

James and Velez combined for all 12 of Brandywine's points during the opening quarter, but Eastern grabbed a four-point lead after 10 minutes. Velez ended a 9-0 Eagles' spurt with her first of two first-quarter triples, while James brought Brandywine within four, sinking a layup with 12 seconds to go in the period.

Brandywine got within two when Madison Michael (Brookhaven, Pa./Sun Valley) drove to the hoop for a layup at the 8:34 mark, but Da'Naziah Brown answered with a layin and three-pointer, starting an 9-2 surge for the Eagles that put the visitors in front by nine. The Lions pulled as close as five points down following a Velez jumper at the midway point of the quarter, but Eastern again pushed the lead back to nine points.

A triple off the hands of Ginamarie McNamee (Aston, Pa./Interboro) with under one minute to go before the half helped Brandywine get within eight at 34-26 at the break.

Velez's triple made the score 39-33 with just under seven minutes to go in the third quarter; however, Eastern scored the next five points to push its lead to double figures for the first time. Naomi Harris poured in three baskets during the final 2:56 of the period as the margin swelled to 14 points after three quarters.

Brandi Johnson (Media, Pa./Strath Haven) buried a triple with 6:18 to go in regulation that made the score 60-49, but Jaelyn Harris countered with a jumper and Eastern's lead would not dip below 14 points the rest of the way.

James recorded her second-straight double-double with 19 points on 7-of-13 shooting and 11 boards, while Velez contributed a game-best 21 points, fueled by four three-pointers and 7-of-8 shooting at the free throw line.
Johnson chipped in seven points and both Michael and McNamee added five.

Eastern controlled the boards, outrebounding Brandywine 45-34. The Eagles tallied 38 points in the paint and scored 19 points off 21 Brandywine turnovers.

Brandywine (8-5, 5-0 PSUAC) returns to conference play when it visits Penn State Lehigh Valley on Wednesday for a showdown of first-place teams in the PSUAC East Division at 6:00 PM.