RUTHERFORD, N.J. – A go-ahead putback by senior center Kristin Smith (Hainesport, N.J./Rancocas Valley) with 37.4 seconds remaining in regulation time helped lift Felician University to a 61-58 Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference women's basketball victory over visiting Georgian Court University on Saturday afternoon at Job Gymnasium. The game marked the end of the 2018-19 regular season for both schools.
Felician (9-17, 9-10) snapped a six-game losing streak. Due to Post University's victory over Concordia (N.Y.) College on Saturday, the Golden Falcons settled for fourth place in the CACC North Division. That development set Felician up for a date with No. 4 nationally-ranked University of the Sciences (27-1, 18-1) during the quarterfinals of next week's conference championship tournament. The teams will meet on Tuesday at 6 p.m. in Philadelphia's University City.
Georgian Court (12-15, 12-7) entered Saturday locked into the South Division's No. 3 seed and will travel to Caldwell University for Tuesday's tournament first round.
Smith was one of three players honored by Felician in a pre-game Senior Day ceremony on Saturday. She finished with seven points and 11 rebounds. Classmate Kameron Stone (Bronx, N.Y./Cardinal Spellman) produced game highs of 21 points and 14 boards. Freshman forward Ivona Krakic (Novi Grad, Bosnia/Petar Kocic) recorded 15 points, eight rebounds and five assists for the Lions.
The Golden Falcons trailed, 32-25, at halftime and 43-37 after three periods. With 7:15 left to play, GCU assumed its largest lead of the day, 50-39, following a pair of Krakic free throws.
The hosts, however, embarked on a 13-0 run over the next three minutes to capture the edge. Stone scored seven points in the uprising, including a short jump shot in the lane at the 4:08 mark for a 52-50 Golden Falcon lead. With 3:13 to play, Felician pushed its advantage to 57-52 after Bionca Chambers' (Bronx, N.Y./New Milford [N.J.]) layup and free throw.
But the Golden Falcons went cold, and with 1:11 on the game clock, GCU went back on top, 58-57, on a three-point field goal by junior Jada Atchinson (Burlington, N.J./Burlington City). Felician called timeout in the frontcourt. Chambers drove to the rim but her shot would not fall – the first of four chances at the basket for the hosts before Smith finally converted.
The Golden Falcons caused a turnover, and the Lions were forced to foul. Taliyah Brisco (Cambria Heights, N.Y./Francis Lewis) made both attempts, and a tying three by Atchinson fell short of the rim as the final buzzer sounded.
Chambers totaled 17 points and a career-high nine steals. Felician scored 21 points off 23 Lion turnovers, and outscored GCU, 19-6, at the foul line. The Golden Falcons shot 20 percent from the field in the first three periods before making 7 of 15 shots in the fourth.
Felician's third senior, guard Kayla Diaz (Clifton, N.J./Paterson Eastside) registered two points, four rebounds, three assists and three steals. Brisco scored eight points off the Golden Falcon bench.
Junior Safiyyah Lee (Camden, N.J./Eastern Regional) turned in 10 points and 10 rebounds in 26 minutes before fouling out for GCU.