Women's Basketball Exits CACC Playoffs

Kristin Smith (15) finished her career with a 15-point, 8-rebound performance. (Steven R. Smith)
Kristin Smith (15) finished her career with a 15-point, 8-rebound performance. (Steven R. Smith)

 

PHILADELPHIA – The Felician University women's basketball team was eliminated from the 2019 Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference Championship tournament following its 71-57 quarterfinal loss to the host University of the Sciences on Tuesday evening at Bobby Morgan Arena.

The result marked the second consecutive year that USciences (28-1), the CACC South Division's regular-season champion and No. 1 seed, defeated Felician in the first round of the CACC playoffs. The Devils, the No. 4-ranked team in both NCAA Division II national polls of record, advance to Saturday's semifinals, when they will take on South No. 3 seed Georgian Court University at 5 p.m. in Caldwell, N.J.

Felician, the No. 4 seed from the North Division, sees its campaign come to an end with a final overall won-lost record of 9-18. The result ended the collegiate careers of Golden Falcon seniors Kayla Diaz (Clifton, N.J./Paterson Eastside), Kristin Smith (Hainesport, N.J./Rancocas Valley) and Kameron Stone (Bronx, N.Y./Cardinal Spellman).

"It is the job of a senior class to show the underclass players the type of effort it takes to compete at this level," said 11th year Felician head coach Steve Fagan. "Kayla, Kristin and Kam have done just that. They have left their mark on this program with their hard work and dedication, and have done a great job leading us back to the CACC playoffs."

USciences sophomore Irisa Ye (North Wales, Pa./North Penn) led all players with 25 points and teammate Jordan Vitelli (Warrington, Pa./Central Bucks South) recorded 19 points and 10 rebounds. Smith turned in 15 points and eight rebound for the Golden Falcons.

Felician scored the final six points of the first quarter to trail, 17-15, at period's end. USciences extended to a 33-24 edge at halftime.

The Devils took their largest lead to that point, 38-26, following a Ye layup with 6:35 left in the third period. Felician eventually closed to 47-41, but a buzzer-beating three-pointer by Vitelli left the hosts ahead by nine with 10 minutes to play.

Felician was held scoreless for the first 2:59 of the fourth, enough time for the Devils to build a 14-point lead. By the time the Golden Falcons were able to come back within nine, only 1:10 remained.

Diaz finished with 14 points, four assists and five steals. Felician was held to 32 percent shooting from the floor,

USciences will seek its fifth CACC title and third consecutively.