ORANGEBURG, N.Y. – The Felician University women's basketball team held New York Institute of Technology to 25.5-percent shooting from the floor and forced 25 Bear turnovers in its 63-52 non-conference victory on Saturday afternoon on the Hennessy Center's Coach Baxter Court. The game occurred during the first day of the four-team Regina Rivera Memorial Tournament, hosted by Dominican (N.Y.) College.
NYIT was an NCAA Tournament selection and the runner-up in the East Coast Conference in 2016-17. The Bears were ranked No. 9 in the preseason Division II East Region Media Poll.
The victory was the 92nd in the Felician career of head coach Steve Fagan of Howell. It allowed Fagan to break his tie with current Golden Falcon director of athletics Ben DiNallo Jr. for the program record for coaching victories. DiNallo's coaching tenure ran from 1998-2005, the final 10 games of 2006-07, and the entire 2007-08 campaign. He earned 91 victories before hiring Fagan to replace him for 2008-09.
The Golden Falcons, who won their season opener at Mercy College last Wednesday, are 2-0 for the second time in the 20-year history of their program and the first since 1998-99.
On Saturday, senior forward Marya Trapp (Red Bank, N.J.) (six rebounds) and junior guard Danelle Gibson (Bronx, N.Y.) paced Felician with 12 points each. NYIT graduate swing player Maia Hood (Elmsford, N.Y.) produced game highs of 15 points and 15 rebounds.
Felician took the lead for good with a 10-2 run over the final 2 ½ minutes of the second period, flipping a five-point deficit into a 27-24 halftime advantage. The Golden Falcons then held NYIT scoreless over the first four minutes of the third quarter, with two Trapp lay-ups sandwiching a jump shot by Shana Owen (Philadelphia, Pa.) as Felician extended to a nine-point edge.
The Bears cut their deficit to 33-28 with 5:59 left in the period. But with 1:44 left in the third, a three-pointer by Gibson gave the Golden Falcons a 46-33 bulge. Felician did not score again in the quarter but escaped with a nine-point lead.
NYIT made one more run, using consecutive three-pointers by Hood and Taylor Tripptree (East Setauket, N.Y.) to close its deficit to 48-43 with 6:41 showing on the fourth-quarter game clock. Felician sophomore Kristin Smith (Hainesport, N.J.) answered with a successful jumper, and that seven-point margin was as close as the Bears would come the rest of the day.
As the clock wound under the four-minute mark, Felician put the game away with a 9-0 run. A pair of Sophia Guerrier (Waltham, Mass.) free throws provided the largest lead, 61-45, with 1:35 left.
Felician junior Kameron Stone (Bronx, N.Y.) totaled 11 points and three steals. Guerrier finished with eight points, eight rebounds and four assists. Triptee turned in 11 points and seven rebounds and Shalie Frierson (Troy, N.Y.) had 10 points and seven boards for the Bears.
Felician's offense committed only 11 turnovers. The difference in miscues helped offset the Golden Falcons being outscored, 25-10, at the foul line, and out-rebounded, 44-38.
In his 12th season as a senior college head coach Fagan owns 99 NCAA victories. He also possesses 83 NJCAA wins in five years.
Felician concludes play in the Regina Rivera Memorial on Sunday with a 3 p.m. tip-off against the University of Bridgeport in Orangeburg. No Golden Falcon women's basketball team has ever started a season 3-0.