Women’s Basketball Trio Lands All-Conference Awards

Brandi James, Nikki Velez, Madison D'Ambrosio
Brandi James, Nikki Velez, Madison D'Ambrosio

MEDIA, Pa. -- Senior forward Brandi James (Glenolden, Pa./Interboro) and junior guard Nikki Velez (Gloucester, N.J./Gloucester City) were both selected to the All-Penn State University Athletic Conference Women's Basketball East Division First Team, while junior forward Madison D'Ambrosio (Springfield, Pa./Springfield) earned all-conference honorable mention on Friday.

James earned her second-straight all-conference nod after claiming second team honors following the 2017-18 season. She topped Brandywine in both scoring and rebounding, averaging 15.0 points and 9.2 rebounds per game. Both of those numbers ranked in the top seven in the conference in their respective categories.

James, who became Brandywine's 10th 1,000-point scorer in January, scored in double figures in 21-of-26 games, reaching the 20-point mark four times. She registered back-to-back 20-point games early in February, pouring in a career-best 27 points in a win over Penn State Greater Allegheny. James stands third in the league in shooting percentage (50.0 percent) and fourth in free throw shooting (74.6 percent).

In addition, James has produced 11 double-figure rebounding performances, including nine double-doubles. She is 16 boards shy of reaching 800 for her career. She also collected 42 steals, 27 assists and eight blocked shots during the season.

Currently ninth all-time in scoring at Brandywine, James needs six points to pass Brandywine Athletic Director Bobbi Caprice for eighth on the Lions' scoring list.

Now a three-time first team standout, Velez was once again the top three-point shooter in the PSUAC, connecting on 41.3 percent of her shots from beyond the arc. Her 69 triples were the second-highest total in the conference, while Velez's 76.2 percent accuracy from the free throw line was the top mark in the PSUAC.

Velez, who also became a 1,000-point scorer this winter, averaged 13.7 points per game and was one-of-two players to start in all 26 contests for the Lions. She produced five 20-point outings with a season high 27 points during Brandywine's victory over Penn State Mont Alto in November.

Velez also recorded 2.6 steals per game, good for eighth in the conference, while adding 3.5 rebounds and 2.0 assists.

She ranks fifth in scoring at Brandywine all-time with 1,254 points in 82 career games.

D'Ambrosio, who played in 25 games, served as the Lions' third-leading scorer at 8.8 points per game. She knocked down 37.5 percent of her three-point attempts, the fourth-highest mark in the PSUAC, while ranking sixth in free throw shooting (73.1 percent).

D'Ambrosio also stood among the team leaders in rebounding (3rd - 4.7 per game), steals (3rd - 1.4 per game) and assists (2nd - 2.1 per game).

In addition, D'Ambrosio was selected as the team's John Fritz Sportsmanship Award winner. Named after former PSUAC Commissioner John Fritz, the sportsmanship award is given to one player from each team in the league who best displays the core values of the league and sportsmanship to teammates and opponents throughout the season. 

Brandywine (18-8), which placed two players on the all-conference first team for the first time since 2009-10, travels to Penn State Beaver Friday night for a PSUAC Tournament semifinal matchup beginning at 7:00 pm.