RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Nationally-ranked Holy Family University used a 12-3 run in the final 3 ½ minutes to earn a 66-57 Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference women's basketball victory over host Felician College on Sunday afternoon at Job Gymnasium. Holy Family (21-2, 15-1 CACC), the No. 8 team in the most recent USA Today Sports national Division II coaches poll, won its ninth consecutive game.
Tiger senior center Erin Mann (West Chester, Pa./Villa Maria Academy), the CACC's second-leading scorer, poured in 28 points in 28 minutes, and added five steals and three blocks. Junior forward Trina Plummer (West Bablyon, N.Y./North Babylon) led Felician with 23 points. The game featured four ties and 10 lead changes.
Mann scored eight points in a game-opening 16-3 run by HFU. Felician closed to within 18-14 with 9:43 to play in the opening period, and took the same deficit, 31-27, into halftime.
The Golden Falcons were held scoreless for the first 4 ½ minutes of the second half, allowing HFU to move back ahead by nine. But Felician came all the way back, with a three-point field goal by Alex Salaycik (Staten Island, N.Y./Moore Catholic) capping a 12-2 spurt and giving the hosts their first lead of the day, 39-38, with 11:50 to play. After three more lead changes, the Golden Falcons took their largest edge of the afternoon, 49-46, on a Plummer bucker at the 6:13 mark
The margin remained within one possession in either direction until the Tigers broke a 54-54 tie with five consecutive points. Ana Cruz (Lititz, Pa./Warwick) gave the visitors the lead for good with a three at 3:18, and followed with a steal and an assist on a Mann lay-in. An Ashley Morris (West Orange, N.J./West Orange) put-back at 1:31 brought Felician to within 59-56 at 1:31, but her team was held without another field goal the rest of the way.
Mann was the only double-figure scorer for the Tigers. Katie Duma (Poestenkill, N.Y./Averill Park) and Maggie Serratelli (Bethlehem, Pa./Liberty) came up with nine points each off the bench. Morris finished with 11 points and eight rebounds and Jac'Quel Saunders (Trenton, N.J./Trenton Catholic) scored 10 points for Felician (6-16, 6-9). Junior center Keisha Jean-Louis (Somerville, Mass./Somerville) accumulated eight points, 13 rebounds and three blocks.
Felician held the Tigers to 30-percent shooting from the floor and held a 49-38 rebounding advantage. However, the Golden Falcons committed 26 turnovers while forcing just 10, leading to a 20-4 edge in points off turnovers for the Tigers. Holy Family also outscored Felician, 26-8, at the free-throw line, as the Golden Falcons saw three starters foul out.
Felician has lost five consecutive games and 7 of its last 8. The Golden Falcons fell into sixth place in the CACC North Division, 1 ½ games behind fourth-place Post University for the division's final playoff spot with four games left to play.