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James Leads Lions' Comeback Victory At DuBois

Brandi James
Brandi James

DUBOIS, Pa. -- Senior Brandi James (Glenolden, Pa./Interboro) scored all of her career-high 26 points in the second half as the Penn State Brandywine's women's basketball team stormed back from 16 points down at the half to defeat Penn State DuBois 70-64 on Friday evening.

James, who played just six minutes during the opening half after being saddled with a pair of fouls, rebounded by shooting 10-of-12 from the field and 5-of-6 from the free throw line during the final 20 minutes to lead the Lions' charge. She also pulled in a game-high 13 rebounds, producing her sixth double-double of the season.

Nikki Velez (Gloucester, N.J./Gloucester City) added 18 points, with nine coming in the third quarter, and recorded five steals, four assists and three rebounds, while Madison D'Ambrosio (Springfield, Pa./Springfield) poured in 13 points.

Brandywine was limited to 6-for-32 shooting from the field during the first half and connected on just 1-of-10 free throw attempts as the Lions fell into a 32-16 hole after two quarters.

The Lions, who endured a scoreless drought of 7:30 to end the second period, scored the first four points of the second half on two free throws from James and a layup by Ginamarie McNamee (Aston, Pa./Interboro). Brandywine quickly cut the deficit to 10 points when Velez and James knocked down jumpers on back-to-back possessions and were within five at the 3:51 mark after James fueled a 10-3 spurt with eight points.

Velez brought the Lions' deficit to a single point by canning a triple with 2:42 to go in the third quarter. After a DuBois turnover, James gave the Lions the lead by knocking down a jumper and Velez followed with four-straight points to increase the margin to five.

Following a cold-shooting first half, the Lions shot 70 percent (12-17) from the field in the third quarter, outscoring DuBois 33-16, to establish a 49-48 edge heading to the final period.

DuBois briefly jumped in front early in the fourth, but three-straight Lion possessions ended in field goals for James as Brandywine retook the lead. After a Velez bucket upped the lead to five, James buried her first three-pointer of the season, making the score 60-52.

DuBois countered with the next seven points, but James answered with a free throw and a basket and Brandywine held the hosts scoreless for more than three minutes, helping the Lions build a 65-59 edge.

Once again, DuBois made a charge, getting within 67-64; however, Velez hit 1-of-2 free throws and Nicolette Napoleon (Springfield, Pa./Penn Charter) knocked down two shots from the charity stripe during the final 21 seconds to help Brandywine escape with the come-from-behind win.

Aided by 20-of-35 shooting in the second half, Brandywine shot 39 percent from the field. The Lions were hurt by 5-for-21 marksmanship from beyond the arc and 13-of-26 shooting at the free throw line. DuBois also held a 50-35 edge on the boards; however, Brandywine netted 27 points off 24 DuBois turnovers.

Brandywine (14-7, 11-2 PSUAC), which guaranteed its 13th-straight winning season under Head Coach Larry Johnson with the victory, visits Penn State Greater Allegheny Saturday at 1:00 pm.