Brandywine Ends Lehigh Valley’s Conference Winning Streak With Comeback Victory

Ally Giannakarios
Ally Giannakarios

MEDIA, Pa. – Amanda Floyd's (Glenolden, Pa./Interboro) free throw with 1:48 to play gave Penn State Brandywine the lead for good as the Lions ended Penn State Lehigh Valley's 21-game women's basketball winning streak against conference opponents during a back-and-forth, defensive struggle Saturday afternoon.

Brandywine dealt Lehigh Valley its first loss to a PSUAC foe since Brandywine was on the winning end of a 70-63 decision in the 2017-18 PSUAC Championship game. Each of Lehigh Valley's five most recent setbacks in conference play have now come against Brandywine.

The game was a defensive deadlock from the outset as both teams managed just four points during the opening quarter.

Floyd's three-point play early in the second period gave Brandywine its first lead of the game and the largest lead by either squad during the first half at 7-4. The teams swapped baskets before a layup from Nikki Velez (Gloucester, N.J./Gloucester City) sent Brandywine into the half with a 21-18 edge.

The third quarter was the same story as neither team could build a lead larger than three for the first nine minutes; however, Yasmine Herrera buried a three-pointer, the first of the game for either team, to give Lehigh Valley a 40-34 edge with 17 seconds remaining in the period.

Lehigh Valley upped the margin to nine points two minutes into the final quarter, but Brandywine came storming back, using a 14-4 run to vault back in front. Madison D'Ambrosio (Springfield, Pa./Springfield) connected on Brandywine's only two triples of the afternoon during the surge, while Ally Giannakarios (Brookhaven, Pa./Sun Valley) registered a pair of put-back layups, including the go-ahead basket with 3:27 on the clock.

After three free throws put Lehigh Valley back on top, Velez sank two from the charity stripe for Brandywine, evening the count at 53-53 and 48 seconds later, Floyd's free throw gave the Lions a one-point edge.

Velez trekked to the free throw line eight times during the final 52 seconds, making 7-of-8 shots, and Brandywine's defense held strong, limiting the visitors to 1-for-7 shooting during the final minute to secure the victory.

Velez topped all scorers with 18 points after knocking down 16-of-18 free throw attempts and dished out six assists. Giannakarios scored 10 of her career-high 14 points during the second half and hauled in eight boards.

Floyd produced a 12-point, 11-rebound double-double, while D'Ambrosio paced the Lions on the boards with 13 and Erin Michael (Brookhaven, Pa./Sun Valley) pulled down 10 rebounds.

Brandywine claimed victory despite shooting just 25 percent from the field as the Lions sank 19-of-23 free throws and held a 65-51 edge on the glass. The Lions produced 17 second-chance points and netted 18 points off 23 Lehigh Valley turnovers.

Brandywine (2-2, 1-1 PSUAC) will step out of conference play Tuesday when it visits Eastern University for a 6:00 pm game.