Women's Basketball Falls Short Despite Smith's Career Night

Women's basketball player on low post calling for ball.
Kristin Smith (15) recorded 25 points, 16 rebounds and three steals -- all career highs -- in a Jan. 2, 2019, overtime loss to Caldwell. (Steven R. Smith)

RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Felician University senior center Kristin Smith (Hainesport, N.J./Rancocas Valley) forced overtime with a layup with 57 seconds remaining in regulation, but the Golden Falcons went 0 for 8 from the field in the extra session and suffered a 79-72 Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference loss to visiting Caldwell University on Wednesday evening at Job Gymnasium.

Smith turned in career-high totals of 25 points, 16 rebounds and three steals. She made 11 of 19 field-goal attempts and was 3 for 6 at the foul line in 33 minutes of action. Caldwell (3-8, 3-1 CACC) countered with 20 points, 10 rebounds and four assists from graduate guard Alessia Smaldone (Malnate, Italy/University Cattolica), who shot 8 for 12 from the floor.

Smith was fouled on her tying bucket but missed the ensuing free throw. Both teams had a chance at a go-ahead basket in the closing seconds, but were unsuccessful, and the teams headed to overtime even, 68-68.

Two successful foul shots by Felician junior Taliyah Brisco (Cambria Heights, N.Y./Francis Lewis) put the hosts ahead, 70-69, with 3:49 to play. But at the 2:54 mark, Smaldone scored on a putback, and the Cougars never trailed again. After Kameron Stone (Bronx, N.Y./Cardinal Spellman) made a pair at the charity stripe to pull the Golden Falcons within 73-72 and 1:31 to play, they did not score for the rest of the game.

Smaldone netted seven of Caldwell's 11 overtime points.

The Cougars were ahead, 39-34, at halftime, and the teams remained within two possessions of each other throughout the second half. Felician (2-8, 2-1) tallied the first 11 points of period three for their largest lead of the night, 45-39, but by quarter's end, Caldwell had gone back on top, 56-53. The tie at the fourth-quarter buzzer was the fourth of the period and sixth of the evening.

Both teams put four scorers in double figures. Felician senior Kayla Diaz (Clifton, N.J./Paterson Eastside) finished with 13 points, five assists and four steals, while Stone and Brisco (five steals) scored 12 points each.

Freshman Tamrin Henderson (Woodbridge, Va./Edison) amassed 18 points and seven rebounds for the Cougars before fouling out. Caldwell senior Andie Lennon (Secaucus, N.J./Secaucus), playing the entire 45 minutes, accumulated 16 points, seven rebounds, seven assists and four steals, and freshman Paula Dits (Alicante, Spain/IES Lioixa) (7-10 FG) added 15 points and 10 rebounds.

Caldwell out-shot their hosts, 52-33 percent. Caldwell also rolled up a 48-37 rebounding advantage, including 38-21 on the defensive glass.

Felician concludes a six-game homestand when the nationally-ranked Jefferson Rams visit Job Gym at 1 p.m. on Saturday.