RUTHERFORD, N.J. – The Felician University women's basketball team saw three freshmen debut with double-figure scoring outings, including a double-double for swing player Briana Lee (Jersey City, N.J./Irvington), in its 76-71 non-conference victory over visiting Mercy College on Thursday evening at Job Gymnasium. Felician was playing the first game of its 24th varsity intercollegiate season.
Rookie guard Kiera Dunhill (Perth, Australia/Presbyterian Ladies' College) topped the Golden Falcons with 17 points. Lee totaled 15 points, 11 rebounds and four steals, and fellow newcomer Tiara Mahorn (Irvington, N.J./Irvington) (5-7 FG) scored 11 points and grabbed eight boards in 15 minutes of action.
Junior forward Amber Brown (South Brunswick, N.J./South Brunswick) came off the bench to record game highs of 21 points and 13 rebounds for Mercy (0-3).
The Golden Falcons led, 13-10, after one period. Still up, 19-18, with six minutes, 52 seconds, to go until halftime, the hosts watched as Mercy rattled off the game's next 10 points. The Mavericks ended up closing the half on an 18-4 run to lead, 36-23, at the break.
But Felician scored the first six points of the third quarter. Just four minutes into the period the Golden Falcons had pulled to within one possession, 41-38. With Felician still down by four, Lee canned a three, and Tania Scott (Newark, N.J./Hudson Catholic) rebounded a Mercy miss and made two free throws. With 2:24 left in the third, the Golden Falcons had moved ahead for good, 50-49.
Freshman Haylee Ramirez (North Bergen, N.J./Hudson Catholic) nailed a trey prior to the third-quarter buzzer to allow Felician to exit the period ahead, 55-51. In the third, Felician outscored the Mavericks, 32-15, owned a 16-6 rebounding edge and did not commit a turnover (while forcing five).
Golden Falcon senior guard Tayliah Brisco (Cambria Heights, N.Y./Francis Lewis) assisted on consecutive transition layups by Dunhill and Briana Boyd (Lumberton, N.J./Rancocas Valley), the latter with 4:58 to play, to allow her team its largest lead of the night, 69-54. The final five-point spread was as close as the Mavericks would get thereafter.
Scott amassed nine points, five rebounds and five assists for Felician, which converted 24 Mercy turnovers into 23 points. In all, freshmen accounted for 56 of Felician's 76 points.
The Mavericks received 14 points, six rebounds and six assists from freshman Katie Wall (Wappingers Falls, N.Y./Roy C. Ketcham)
Felician plays non-conference games this weekend against Saint Michael's College and the College of Saint Rose, both at 2 p.m., during the Regina Rivera Memorial Tournament. The event will be hosted by Dominican (N.Y.) College on its Orangeburg, N.Y., campus.