Furious Rally Falls One Possession Short In Key Tilt With Concordia

Danelle Gibson's 15 second-half points (17 overall) led a comeback which fell just short against Concordia on Feb. 7, 2017. (Steven R. Smith)
Danelle Gibson's 15 second-half points (17 overall) led a comeback which fell just short against Concordia on Feb. 7, 2017. (Steven R. Smith)

RUTHERFORD, N.J. – A furious fourth-quarter comeback by Felician University fell one possession short in the Golden Falcons' 70-67 Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference women's basketball loss to visiting Concordia (N.Y.) College on Tuesday evening at Job Gymnasium.

The setback dealt a serious blow to the CACC playoff hopes of Felician (6-17, 5-8 CACC), which has lost four of its last five games. The Golden Falcons fell 2 ½ games behind Concordia for fourth place and the final conference tournament berth from the CACC North Division. Felician has three games remaining, while the Clippers have four.

Concordia (7-16, 7-8) matched its largest lead of the night, 67-53, following a layup by freshman Amiya Rankins (Somerset, N.J./Franklin) with six minutes, 28 seconds, to play in regulation time. But Felician clamped down on defense, and received three-point field goals on consecutive possessions by sophomore guard Danelle Gibson (Bronx, N.Y./Cardinal Spellman).

The 67-59 score held for more than two minutes of game time. Gibson canned another three at 2:27, and following a Clipper turnover, a trifecta by Marta Moix (Madrid, Spain/John Carroll School [Md.]) at 1:40 pulled the hosts to within two. After Concordia misfired, a potential tying foul-line jump shot by Marya Trapp (Red Bank, N.J./Red Bank Regional) rattled around the rim and fell out. The ball went out of bounds to Concordia with 0:40 left.

Felician attempted to play straight-up defense and have one more chance to tie or move ahead, but committed a non-shooting foul at 0:17. After the Golden Falcons fouled twice more, with the shot clock off, to enter the bonus, Concordia's Julianne Wilkinson (Red Hook, N.Y./Red Hook) kept hope alive for the hometown faithful by making only the second of a two-shout foul. But Felician turned the ball over out of a timeout, and the visitors were able to hold on.

Moix led Felician with 18 points and six assists. Gibson scored 15 of her 17 points after halftime, and Trapp turned in her 11th double-double of the season with 13 points, 14 rebounds and three blocked shots. Wilkinson led all scorers with 23 points for the Clippers, playing the full 40 minutes.

Concordia went ahead to stay when Wilkinson and Lyric Blanch (Kingston, N.Y./Kingston) (16 points) closed the first quarter with consecutive three-pointers for a 19-16 Clipper lead. It extended the run to 11-0 spanning the break to move ahead by eight, and netted the final six points of the second period for a 39-27 halftime lead.

Though held to 33-percent shooting from the floor, Felician made a season-high 10 three-pointers, including a career-high five from Gibson. The hosts also wasted a 50-33 rebounding advantage. Freshman Kristin Smith (Hainesport, N.J./Rancocas Valley) had eight points and 11 boards.

Felician plays its final home game of the season on Saturday at 1 p.m. against Holy Family University.