Freshman Destiny Marino (Queens/Christ the King) led the Lady Bears (7-7) with a team-high 17 points, eight rebounds and five assists. She has pushed her streak to 12 straight games scoring in double figures.
Seniors Taylor Raccuglia (Brooklyn/Bishop Kearney) and Samantha Retas (Brooklyn/Bishop Kearney) each recorded double-doubles in a losing effort. Raccuglia scored 16 points and grabbed 10 rebounds for her third double-double, while Retas secured her eighth double-double of the season with 11 points and a team-high 13 boards.
Sophomore Bria Hill paced the Gothic Knights (7-7) in the win with her ninth double-double on the season. She scored 15 points and corralled a game-high 22 rebounds. Kiana Briggs also contributed 15 points to go along with seven rebounds and five assists.
The Lady Bears started the game slowly on offense in the first stanza, scoring just two points in the first six minutes. They would continue to trail for the majority of the half until they would score 12 points in the final 6:09 to go into the half up 31-27 following a Marino halfcourt buzzer beater.
To start the second half, New Jersey City would rally back with an outstanding 17-2 run through the first 6:56 to go up by nine points, their largest lead of the contest. Smith tallied seven of her 15 points during the run.
St. Joseph's would not go quietly after trailing by as many as nine points. Two Marino baskets and a Retas three-pointer would cut the deficit to 48-46 with 6:12 remaining.
The Lady Bears still trailed by two points with 2:25 left in regulation, but couldn't get any closer. Briggs hit four free throws down the stretch to seal the victory for the Gothic Knights.
Despite the loss, the Lady Bears held New Jersey City to just 28.6 percent shooting (20 for 70) while they shot 34.5 percent (20 for 58). The team had their second best performance at the charity stripe as well, shooting 72.2 percent. The Gothic Knights forced 21 St. Joseph's turnovers, and also took the slight edge on the boards, 49-48.
The Lady Bears will look to avoid a three-game losing streak following a nine-day layoff when they resume Hudson Valley Intercollegiate Athletic Conference play against Vaughn on Wednesday, January 21, as the first part of a doubleheader with the men's team.