At Long Last, Women's Basketball Tops Holy Family

Bionca Chambers scored 31 points in Felician's first-ever win over Holy Family. (Steven R. Smith)
Bionca Chambers scored 31 points in Felician's first-ever win over Holy Family. (Steven R. Smith)

RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Sophomore guard Bionca Chambers (Bronx, N.Y./New Milford [N.J.]) scored 31 points and senior forward Kameron Stone (Bronx, N.Y./Cardinal Spellman) recorded 18 points and a career-best 17 rebounds to lead Felician University to a 73-68 Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference women's basketball victory over visiting Holy Family University on Thursday evening at Job Gymnasium.

Felician (8-11, 8-4 CACC) defeated Holy Family for the first time in the 23-year history of its program. The Golden Falcons entered the day 0-34 all-time against the Tigers.

The Golden Falcons maintained their share of first place with Dominican (N.Y.) College in the CACC North Division. Dominican was also victorious on Thursday. The teams have seven conference games remaining, including a date with each other on Feb. 27 in Orangeburg, N.Y. Felician has also won three consecutive games for the first time since Feb. 7-15 of last year.

Chambers played all 40 minutes for the first time in her career. Her line also included six rebounds, five assists and four steals. She netted 23 points after halftime. Stone's double-double was her fifth of the season and the ninth of her career.

Sophomore guard Anjelai Hayes (Woodbury, N.J./Woodbury) paced Holy Family (6-14, 4-8) with 15 points and 15 rebounds.

The Tigers tallied the game's first eight points. Felician did not dent the scoreboard until three minutes, 20 seconds had passed, and did not record a field goal until a Stone putback nearly four minutes into the action. HFU could not fully take advantage, as there was no scoring in the final three minutes of the first period, and the visitors led just 14-9.

The offenses awoke during period two. The Golden Falcons came as close as a 27-26 deficit but never tied or led. At halftime, HFU maintained its five-point advantage, 37-32.

The teams spent the entire third quarter within two possessions of each other. Felician closed to within one point on three more occasions, but each time the Tigers had a response. Finally, consecutive Chambers three-pointers in the closing minutes allowed the hosts to exit the period with their first lead, 55-52.

After a Molly Masciantonio (Morton, Pa./Archbishop Carroll) bucket early in the fourth, Chambers posted the game's next six points to put Felician ahead, 61-54, with 8:42 to play. The Tigers cut to 63-62 at the 6:21 mark, but moments later, back-to-back steals and lay-ins by Chambers allowed the Golden Falcons to stretch to 69-63 at 4:22.

The Felician offense went cold, and with 1:26 remaining, Masciantonio went to the foul line with a chance to tie but converted only her first attempt. On the other end, an offensive rebound by Miaja Coursey (Little Egg Harbor, N.J./Pinelands Regional) eventually led to a driving layup from Kayla Diaz (Clifton, N.J./Paterson Eastside). Following a Coursey steal, one free throw from Taliyah Brisco (Cambria Heights, N.Y./Francis Lewis) at 0:26 was enough to secure the victory.

Diaz finished with 11 points and five assists and Coursey came up with six points and seven rebounds in 20 bench minutes. Holy Family's Katie O'Hare (West Chester, Pa./Bayard Rustin) and Elizabeth Radley (Hainesport, N.J./Bishop Eustace) each accumulated 15 points and nine rebounds.

Felician is home again on Saturday, taking on Wilmington (Del.) University at 1 p.m. in Rutherford.