Lehigh Valley Rallies To Top Brandywine On Senior Night

2019 Women's Basketball Seniors
2019 Women's Basketball Seniors

MEDIA, Pa. -- Penn State Brandywine appeared primed to deal Penn State Lehigh Valley its first conference loss of the season, but Lehigh Valley erased a 12-point halftime deficit and held on to defeat Brandywine 68-63 on Senior Night Friday evening.

The teams swapped baskets for the first eight minutes of the contest before Lehigh Valley grabbed a four-point edge; however, Brandywine netted the final eight points of the opening quarter, sandwiching two Nikki Velez (Gloucester, N.J./Gloucester City) three-pointers around a Brandi James (Glenolden, Pa./Interboro) layup to lead 20-16.

The Lions' scoring run continued into the second period as Velez and Madison D'Ambrosio (Springfield, Pa./Springfield) knocked down triples and Ginamarie McNamee (Aston, Pa./Interboro) added a layup, completing a 16-0 surge that had Brandywine in front 28-16.

Lehigh Valley closed within four at 30-26 with 3:20 to go in the half, but Brandywine held the visitors without a point until intermission, scoring eight-straight points to lead 38-26 at the break.

With Brandywine still maintaining a 12-point cushion midway through the third quarter, Lehigh Valley began its comeback, using a 13-2 run to get within 46-45 after three quarters.

The visitors' 10-0 run to start the final stanza built Lehigh Valley a 55-46 lead with 7:01 to go.

The Lions rallied to get back in the game as Brandywine sank six free throws and James added a layin to bring the count to 61-58 at the 1:29 mark. After Lehigh Valley sank two shots from the charity stripe, Velez's jumper again got Brandywine to within three.

Forced to put Lehigh Valley on the line, the visitors knocked down two free throws with 11 seconds to go, and after D'Ambrosio canned a jumper, iced the game with two more shots from the foul line with two seconds remaining.

James coupled 18 points with 14 rebounds during her final regular-season home game, while D'Ambrosio also produced a double-double, collecting 12 points and 10 boards. Velez added 15 points and McNamee produced seven points and eight boards.

Both teams shot 29 percent from the field, make six three-pointers and pulled in 53 rebounds. Lehigh Valley produced 23 points off of 23 Brandywine turnovers.

With the regular season complete, Brandywine (17-8, 14-3 PSUAC) begins the PSUAC Tournament with a home quarterfinal game on Tuesday night at 7:00 pm. The Lions' opponent will be determined this weekend.