CALDWELL, N.J. – The Felician University women's basketball team started quickly but was overtaken by Caldwell University during its 66-53 Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference loss to the host Cougars on Tuesday evening on the Newman Center's Corino Court.
Freshman guard/forward Briana Lee (Jersey City, N.J.) led Felician (2-14, 1-8 CACC) with 21 points and seven rebounds. Lee, playing 38 of a possible 40 minutes, added three assists and two steals to her ledger. Caldwell received 21 points from sophomore guard Paula Dits (Alicante, Spain).
Trailing, 23-15, after one quarter, the Cougars (4-15, 4-6) caught their guests midway through the second period. Caldwell took the lead for good 32-31, following a Rebecca Morrison (Ayrshire, Scotland) layup with 3:11 left until halftime, and held the Golden Falcons scoreless for the balance of the half. The Cougars led at the break, 34-31.
Defense ruled the early stages of the period three. Neither team made a field goal for the first four minutes, with Morrison's two foul shots -- the only points during that stretch – giving Caldwell a five-point bulge. Two more Morrison freebies with 3:11 left in the third made it 43-34 in favor of the hosts, but, helped by eight points from Lee, Felician closed to within 45-44 at the quarter's 0:22 mark.
On the Cougars' final possession of the third, however, Dits buried a three-point field goal from beyond the top of the arc. Caldwell exited the quarter ahead, 48-44, and seized the momentum, holding Felician scoreless for the first 3:59 of the final period en route to a 10-point bulge. The Cougars went up by 12 following two Alyssa Smaldone (Malnate, Italy) foul shots at the 4:18 mark, and Felician never crept closer than within nine points the rest of the way.
Felician was 8 for 11 from the floor in the first period (73 percent) and 11 for 50 (22 percent) thereafter. The Golden Falcons were outscored, 18-9, at the foul line.
Freshman forward Rosie Arias (Linden, N.J.) (3-3 FG) totaled eight points and four rebounds for Felician. Classmate Tiara Mahorn (Irvington, N.J.) tallied six points and five rebounds in just seven minutes, while Golden Falcon senior Taliyah Brisco (Cambria Heights, N.Y.) also had six points and five caroms.
Morrison finished with 16 points and 12 rebounds and Smaldone also scored 16 points for Caldwell.
Felician is home for its next two contests, including one Saturday at 1 p.m. against Goldey-Beacom College.