CALDWELL, N.J. – Felician University played from behind for the entire night, staying with striking distance but never taking the lead, during its 69-61 Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference women's basketball loss to host Caldwell University on Wednesday evening on the Newman Center's Corino Court.
The result, along with other conference scores from Wednesday, tightened the standings in CACC North Division. Felician (8-13, 8-6 CACC) moved within one game of clinching its second consecutive league playoff berth but fell out of a tie for first place in the division. The Golden Falcons' lead over Caldwell (8-14, 8-7) for second place shrank to a half-game, with the Cougars holding tiebreaker rights between the squads by virtue of having won both head-to-head meetings this season.
The top two teams in each division at season's end will host a quarterfinal game on March 5.
On Wednesday, the Golden Falcons struggled to contain Caldwell guard Andie Lennon (Secaucus, N.J.). The senior made 4 of 5 three-point attempts and totaled 27 points, seven assists and four steals.
Sophomore guard Bionca Chambers (Bronx, N.Y.) was limited to 24 minutes due to foul trouble, but still topped Felician with 17 points. Chambers added five rebounds and three blocks. Senior Kayla Diaz (Clifton, N.J.) scored 14 points.
The Golden Falcons received 11 points and 13 rebounds from senior Kristin Smith (Hainesport, N.J.). Classmate Kameron Stone (Bronx, N.Y.) recorded her fourth consecutive double-double – and seventh of the season – with 11 points and 12 caroms.
Caldwell scored the game's first eight points but Felician recovered to tie the score at 13-13. A late layup by Paula Dits (Alicante, Spain) allowed the hosts to exit the first quarter with a 15-13 edge.
Similarly, the Golden Falcons erased a seven-point second-period deficit to even the game at 24-24 with 2:55 to play until halftime. But this time, the Cougars fashioned a 9-2 spurt to end the half, capped by a Lennon buzzer-beating three-point field goal, and went into the locker room ahead, 33-26.
Caldwell's advantage hovered between three and nine points throughout period three. For the third consecutive quarter, it was the Cougars who finished strong, tallying seven of the final nine points to remain in front, 60-42.
The Golden Falcons had one more push remaining, holding the hosts scoreless for the first 3:58 of the fourth. Felician, however, could only muster six points during that time. Still, the visitors trailed by four with the ball as the game clock wound under four minutes. Again, they could not take advantage. Five consecutive points by Lennon made the score 61-52 with 3:08 to play and effectively put the game away for Caldwell.
Caldwell out-shot Felician, 46-35 percent, from the field. The Golden Falcons connected only 5 of 27 three-point attempts (19 percent) and wasted a 22-6 edge in second-chance points.
Felician plays another CACC road game on Saturday, traveling to northwest Philadelphia for a 1 p.m. tip against South Division foe Chestnut Hill College.