RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Felician University used strong defense, superior rebounding, and a season-best effort from junior guard Marta Moix (Madrid, Spain/John Carroll School [Md.]) to earn a 66-56 non-conference women's basketball victory over visiting Mercy College on Friday afternoon at Job Gymnasium.
Moix, a transfer in her first year with the Golden Falcons, turned in 20 points and seven rebounds, both season highs. She tallied 10 points in each half. Playing 38 minutes, Moix helped Felician hold Mercy to 27-percent shooting from the field, including a 7-for-32 clip (22 percent) from three-point range.
Felician (3-10) out-rebounded the Mavericks, 55-32. The hosts held a 39-17 edge on the defensive glass, limiting Mercy to nine second-chance points. Three Golden Falcons reached double figures in rebounds, led by a season-high 12 (plus eight points) from redshirt freshman center Kristin Smith (Hainesport, N.J./Rancocas Valley).
The first quarter featured four lead changes, with Felician taking the moving ahead for good on a lay-up by Marya Trapp (Red Bank, N.J./Red Bank Regional) with three minutes, 36 seconds, left in the period. The Golden Falcons emerged from the quarter with a 15-11 lead.
Both teams picked up the offensive pace in period two. Consecutive three-point field goals by Trapp and Moix put the hosts up, 31-21, at the 5:44 mark, and a putback by Safiyyah Lee (Voorhees, N.J./Eastern Regional) with 1:17 left in the half gave Felician a 12-point lead before two late Mercy free throws made it 41-31 at halftime. Trapp scored 10 points in the second quarter and 15 in the first half.
The Mavericks (1-10) came as close as a five-point deficit on two occasions in the third quarter, but a 7-0 Felician run made it 50-38 before the Golden Falcons settled for a 54-44 lead at period's end. Similarly, a seven-point Felician edge with 7:44 to play in regulation time became 14 at 4:24 following another 7-0 spurt.
Trapp amassed 18 points and 10 rebounds for her fourth consecutive "double-double" and seventh of the season. Lee scored six points with 10 rebounds, and sophomore guard Danelle Gibson (Brooklyn, N.Y./Cardinal Spellman) ran the offense to the tune of eight assists against two turnovers.
Sophomore guard Destinee Hall (Spring Valley, N.Y./Paramus Catholic[N.J.]) delivered 15 points and 10 rebounds for Mercy.
Felician snapped a 17-game non-conference losing streak dating back to the 2014-15 season.
Felician is nearing the end of a stretch of seven home games out of eight. The Golden Falcons return to Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference action when they entertain Wilmington (Del.) University on Jan. 4 at 5:30 p.m. in Rutherford.