Saturday, January 30, 2016

Team Effort Sends UDC Firebirds to 13th Straight Win, 73-57 vs. Daemen

WASHINGTON, D.C.  --  Ten Firebirds entered the scoring column, including four in double-figures, as the University of the District of Columbia women's basketball team defeated East Coast Conference foe Daemen College, 73-57 at home on Friday night.
The Firebirds have now won 13 straight games as they completed the season sweep of the Wildcats to remain unbeaten in conference play at 10-0 and improved to 15-3 overall. Daemen dropped the 3rd of its last four games to fall to 4-13 overall and 2-9 in league play.
Junior transfer guard Brandi Henton and senior forward Iman Scott led the Firebirds offensively with 14 points apiece. Scott scored 10 of her 14 in the 2nd half, and Henton registered 11 of her 14 in the 4th quarter. Junior transfer forward Jenka Stiasna was the spark plug early, scoring eight of her 10 points in the 1st quarter. Senior forward Arielle Ward had a game-high four steals and a team-high seven rebounds.

Daemen featured two double-figure scorers in guards Sarah Saba and Leah McDonell – both with 15 points each. Raeann Stilwell pitched in with game-highs of nine rebounds and six assists.
Neither team shot well from the field as UDC had a slight 38-percent to 37-percent FG shooting edge but were less precise from three-point range (24-percent to 30-percent). The Firebirds had a decisive free-throw shooting advantage, however, as they made 21-of-28 (75-percent) at the stripe compared to 13-of-26 (50-percent) by the Wildcats.
UDC also won the rebounding battle, 40-36 and were much more efficient offensively with 12 turnovers compared to 20 by Daemen. The Firebirds turned those 20 Daemen turnovers into 23 points while the Wildcats had only four points off of turnovers.
The first four minutes featured seven lead changes and two ties as McDonnell answered a Stiasna three-pointer with a layup at the 6:02 mark to force a 9-all deadlock. A layup by Tiara Goode at 5:10 kick-started an 11-0 run by the Firebirds to close out the quarter as UDC grabbed a 20-9 lead at the end of the first quarter and would never look back.
Consecutive three-pointers by Henton and senior guard Tajruba Baldwin-Kollore allowed the Firebirds to remain up 28-16 just past the seven minute mark of the 2nd quarter, and UDC would lead by as many as 13 before ultimately settling for a 33-21 advantage at halftime.
The Firebirds extended their lead to 15 (40-25) two minutes into the 3rd quarter after a layup by Goode, but Daemen used an 8-0 run to pull within seven after six straight points by McDonell. A conventional three-point play by Scott stopped the bleeding as UDC scored eight of the game's next 11 points and upped its lead to 48-37 approaching two minutes on the clock. The Wildcats scored the last four points of the quarter to pull within seven, 48-41 entering the 4th quarter.
Daemen pulled within five, 50-45, two-and-a-half minutes into the final quarter after a three-pointer by Samantha Wozniak, and later a three-pointer by Natalie Galus kept it a six-point game (56-50) just past the five minute mark. A layup by McDonell at the 2:15 mark again closed the gap to six, but the Firebirds held the Wildcats without a field goal and only one made free-throw for the remainder of regulation as they made 11-of-12 free-throws down the stretch to win comfortably by 16.
UDC is back in action at home on Sunday as they host the rematch vs. ECC foe Roberts Wesleyan College at 1 p.m. The last time these two met in Rochester, NY, the Firebirds pulled out a thrilling, 97-90 victory in triple overtime.

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