Women's Basketball, Led By Defense, Stops Bloomfield, 64-47

(Photo by Gladstone Harris)
(Photo by Gladstone Harris)

RUTHERFORD, N.J. – The Felician University women's basketball team allowed only two second quarter points and was ahead, 49-28, after 30 minutes of its 64-47 Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference victory over visiting Bloomfield College on Wednesday evening at Job Gymnasium. Junior guard Taliyah Brisco (Cambria Heights, N.Y./Francis Lewis) led Felician with 17 points and added six rebounds.

The Golden Falcons (4-10, 4-3 CACC) retained their hold on second place in the seven-team CACC North Division. Felician snapped a nine-game losing streak to Bloomfield, defeating the Bears for the first time since Jan. 8, 2014. The Golden Falcons had not won against the Bears in Rutherford since Jan. 24, 2012, dropping six consecutive home contests in the series.

Felician held the visitors to 25 percent shooting from the floor, a figure that stood at 18 percent through three quarters. The Golden Falcons also forced 25 Bear turnovers and owned a 55-46 rebounding advantage. Sophomore Bionca Chambers (Bronx, N.Y./New Milford [N.J.]) came off the host bench to record 12 points, nine rebounds and three blocked shots.

Felician started the night slowly on offense, with the Bears getting out to a 10-2 lead following a jump shot by Deja McKenzie (Baltimore, Md./Milford Mill Academy) just over five minutes into the action. At the end of the first period, Bloomfield led, 15-8.

The game turned in the second quarter, when Felician outscored the Bears, 20-2. Bloomfield shot 1 for 13 from the field for the period and did not get to the foul line. The visitors' bucket came with 8:32 to play until halftime to restore its seven-point edge. But by the 6:22 mark, the Golden Falcons had tied the score with a pair of free throws from Kameron Stone (Bronx, N.Y./Cardinal Spellman).

The 17-17 score held until 4:09 remained, when Brisco nailed a three-point field goal to give her team the lead for good. Felician completed its half-closing 18-0 run on a driving layup by Brisco on its final possession and was on top, 28-17, at the break.

After a three by senior Kayla Diaz (Clifton, N.J./Paterson Eastside) made the score 31-19, Felician never led by fewer than 11 points for the rest of the night. The spread reached 18 on a Kristin Smith (Hainesport, N.J./Rancocas Valley) layup with 2:53 left in the third, and grew as high as 23 points, 49-26, after a Chambers free throw at the 0:29 mark.

A McKenzie layup left Bloomfield (3-13, 3-5) down, 49-28, after three quarters. The Bears closed to a 51-35 deficit with 7:29 left in regulation time but were never closer.

McKenzie paced Bloomfield with 18 points and 11 rebounds. Freshman teammate Caitlin Townes (Newark, N.J./Newark Tech) totaled 15 points and seven caroms. Stone posted a double-double of 10 points and 10 rebounds, and Smith nearly did the same, finishing with nine points, 12 rebounds and four steals.

Felician welcomes Holy Family University to Job Gym for a 1 p.m. tipoff on Saturday.