MEDIA, Pa. -- For the second-straight season, Penn State Brandywine will play for the Penn State University Athletic Conference women's basketball championship as the top-seeded Lions cruised past No. 4 Penn State Schuylkill by a score of 89-54 in the tournament semifinals on Saturday afternoon.
Brandywine (20-6) reached the PSUAC championship game for the seventh time in 12 years under Head Coach Larry Johnson and will look to win its fourth crown during his tenure. The Lions will face the winner of Saturday night's Penn State Lehigh Valley-Penn State Beaver game on Sunday at 3:30 pm on their home floor.
Schuylkill entered the game allowing its opponents to score just over 56 points per outing, but Brandywine shot over 48 percent from the field during the game and knocked down nine three-pointers, while surrending 37 percent shooting to the visitors.
Eleven different Lions produced at least one made basket, led by a 20-point outing from Nikki Velez (Gloucester, N.J./Gloucester City). Velez buried 5-of-6 triples and 7-of-9 shots overall during 23 minutes of action.
Brandi James (Glenolden, Pa./Interboro) chipped in 18 points and five rebounds, while Alyssa Abbonizio (Springfield, Pa./Springfield) tallied 10 points and eight boards. Crystal Miller (Pleasant Valley, N.Y./Arlington) added eight points and seven rebounds and Ali Wilson (Philadelphia, Pa./St. Hubert's) shot 3-3 from the field for seven points.
Brandywine trailed 6-4, but held Schuylkill scoreless for the next 8:07 as the Lions ran out to a 14-point lead. Back-to-back triples by Velez pushed Brandywine in front 15-6, while Chrissy Gledhill (Secane, Pa./Cardinal O'Hara) capped the 16-0 Lions' surge by canning a jumper with 38 seconds to play in the first quarter.
A layup by Velez, two free throws from James, and bucket from Miller pushed the lead to 17 points midway through the second period. Schuylkill got as close as 13 points down, but Velez countered with a triple and two minutes later, Abbonizio pushed the margin back to 19 points with a basket.
Brandywine continued to roll in the second half, knocking down four triples during the third quarter as the advantage moved to 28 points through 30 minutes. The Lions' lead reached its largest at 42 points when Chantel Hatton (Philadelphia, Pa./Chester) knocked down two free throws with 2:20 to play in the game.
Brandywine, which defeated Schuylkill for the 13th-straight meeting, has won 20 games in a season for the fourth time in the last 12 years. Three of the Lions' 20 victories came against their possible competition in the title round as Brandywine swept two games from Penn State Lehigh Valley and defeated Beaver handly in January.
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February 27, 2018 Women’s Basketball Headed Back To USCAA Tournament
February 20, 2018 Brandywine Basketball Teams Learn Seeding, USCAA First Round Opponents
February 18, 2018 Brandywine Repeats As PSUAC Women’s Basketball Champion
February 17, 2018 Brandywine Rolls Into Final; Looks To Repeat As Champion
February 9, 2018 Brandywine Secures No. 1 Seed On Senior Night
February 6, 2018 Brandywine Basketball Celebrating Senior Class Friday Night
February 6, 2018 York Halts Brandywine's Winning Streak
February 3, 2018 Brandywine Bests Schuylkill; Winning Streak Hits 12 Games
February 2, 2018 Brandywine Tops Hazleton 80-69 For 11th-Straight Win
January 30, 2018 Brandywine Doubles Up Mont Alto 82-41
January 26, 2018 Fayette No Match For Lions In 78-55 Rout
January 25, 2018 Victory At Valley Forge Pushes Brandywine's Win Streak To Eight
January 22, 2018 Brandywine Claims Lopsided Road Victory In D.C.
January 20, 2018 Brandywine Cruises To Sixth-Straight Victory
January 19, 2018 Brandywine Starts Fast; Rolls Through Beaver
January 17, 2018 Brandi James Lauded As USCAA Player Of The Week
January 15, 2018 Third Quarter Run Leads Brandywine To Win At Wilkes Barre
January 13, 2018 Brandywine Edges Mont Alto; Improves To 5-0 In PSUAC
January 12, 2018 Lions Pick Up PSUAC Victory At DuBois
January 5, 2018 Brandywine Escapes Bryn Athyn With 50-44 Triumph
January 3, 2018 Brandywine Drops First Game After Break At Widener
December 20, 2017 Lions’ Rally Comes Up Short At Eastern
December 9, 2017 Brandywine Tops Scranton In Late-Night Affair
December 5, 2017 Brandywine Rides Strong Defensive Effort Past York
December 2, 2017 Brandywine Claims Conference Opener 68-53 At Lehigh Valley
November 30, 2017 Brandywine Deals Davis 69-49 Defeat
November 27, 2017 Berks Drops Brandywine In Lions’ Home Opener
November 21, 2017 Velez Earns PSUAC Player Of The Week Honors
November 21, 2017 Stanford Leads Brandywine Past Immaculata
November 19, 2017 Brandywine Pulls Away From Bryn Athyn For First Win
November 18, 2017 Lions Drop Neumann Tournament Opener
November 15, 2017 Brandywine Falls Short In Overtime At Rosemont
November 14, 2017 Basketball Season Tips Off Wednesday