MEDIA, Pa. -- Penn State Brandywine won its 11th consecutive game on Friday night as the Lions maintained their undefeated Penn State University Athletic Conference women's basketball record by knocking off Penn State Hazleton 80-69.
Brandywine, now 17-5 overall, owns an 11-0 PSUAC mark. With three-game left to play, the defending-champion Lions can clinch a top-two seed in the PSUAC Tournament on Saturday with a home victory over Penn State Schuylkill (1:00 pm).
Nikki Velez (Gloucester, N.J./Gloucester City) and Kendra Stanford (Philadelphia, Pa./William Bodine) combined to score all 10 points during a game-opening 10-2 run for the Lions.
During three consecutive possessions, Crystal Miller (Pleasant Valley, N.Y./Arlington) grabbed an offensive rebound and sank a putback layup as the lead moved to 11 points; however, Hazleton closed the first quarter with six consecutive points to narrow the deficit to 20-13 through 10 minutes.
Less than three minutes into the second period, Brandywine's lead reached 13 points as Nicolette Napoleon (Springfield, Pa./Penn Charter) converted a three-point play. Hazleton pulled as close as eight, but four-straight points from Madison D'Ambrosio (Springfield, Pa./Springfield) and a jumper by Alyssa Abbonizio (Springfield, Pa./Springfield) extended the margin to 15 points. Two Hazleton free throws made the count 41-28 at the break.
Brandywine maintained its 15-point edge until late in the third quarter when Hazleton put together a 12-1 run, holding the Lions without a field goal during the final 4:25, to get within four points with 10 minutes to play.
Kendra Pfeil's layup two minutes into the final stanza brought the score to 61-59, but Hazleton would not get any closer. D'Ambrosio and Chrissy Gledhill (Secane, Pa./Cardinal O'Hara) countered with back-to-back buckets and 90 seconds later, Velez sank a layup and added a free throw after being fouled to up the lead to 68-61. Gledhill knocked down a pair of jumpers and Velez shot 4-4 from the free throw line during the final two-and-a-half minutes to secure Brandywine's 11th-straight win.
Velez shot 6-of-11 from the field and 6-of-7 at the free throw line, finishing with a team-high 20 points, while D'Ambrosio stuffed the stat sheet with 12 points, 15 rebounds (7 offensive) and six assists. Miller added a 13-point, 11-rebound double-double and Stanford and Gledhill each tallied 10 points.
Brandywine shot 40 percent from the field, while outrebounding Hazleton 53-46 and forcing 23 turnovers.
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