Berks Drops Brandywine In Lions’ Home Opener

Brandi James
Brandi James

MEDIA, Pa. -- Penn State Brandywine was limited to 30 percent shooting as the Lions' women's basketball team dropped its home opener on Monday night to Penn State Berks by a score of 77-66.

Both teams were cold from the field during the first quarter as Berks and Brandywine each connected on four field goals and the visitors grabbed an 11-9 lead through 10 minutes.

Brandi James' (Glenolden, Pa./Interboro) layup 24 seconds into the second quarter tied the score, but Sam Brensinger provided an answer for Berks, sinking a three-pointer at the 8:57 mark to put the visitors back in front. Berks steadily grew its lead, pushing the margin to nine following another Bensinger triple at the midway point of the stanza. James responded with a layup for Brandywine, but that would be the Lions' only field goal during the next three minutes.

Back-to-back baskets during the final minute from James and Crystal Miller (Pleasant Valley, N.Y./Arlington) closed an 11-point gap to seven at the half as the Lions trailed 27-20.

Berks' edge grew as a large as 12 points during the third quarter before Brandywine put together a rally during the final 90 seconds. Nikki Velez (Gloucester, N.J./Gloucester City) and Madison D'Ambrosio (Springfield, Pa./Springfield) each sank two free throws and James added one shot from the free throw stripe before Kendra Stanford (Philadelphia, Pa./William Bodine) beat the buzzer with a putback to bring Brandywine within five.

Velez buried two triples in a span of 44 seconds, narrowing the deficit to three with 5:39 to play. The Lions would pull within three on two additional occasions during the final three minutes, but each time Berks had an answer from long range. Brensinger's triple with 2:13 remaining started a 9-0 Berks run that put the game away.

James produced a double-double with 16 points (6-of-9 FG) and 13 rebounds, including seven that came on the offensive end. Velez totaled 18 points, while D'Ambrosio collected seven points, 11 rebounds and six assists. Stanford was the final Lion to reach double-figure scoring with 10 points. She also hauled in five boards and grabbed a pair of steals.

Melissa Martin came off the bench to record a game-high 20 points for Berks, while Kylie Herman tallied 13 points and 17 rebounds.

Brandywine held a 56-50 edge on the boards, but Berks shot 36 percent from the field at sank 21-of-24 free throw attempts.

Brandywine (2-3) is back at home Thursday against Davis College at 6:00 PM.