Saturday, February 6, 2016

UDC Firebirds Rebound for 54-47 Win at Molloy

ROCKVILLE CENTRE, New York – After suffering its first two league losses of the season back-to-back, the University of the District of Columbia women's basketball team bounced back to defeat Molloy College, 54-47 in East Coast Conference play Saturday afternoon at Quealy Gymnasium.
The Firebirds improved to 16-5 overall and 11-2 in league play while Molloy lost the 4th of its last five games to fall to 6-15 overall and 5-8 in the ECC.
In a low-scoring affair, UDC featured a balanced scoring attack with eight different players entering the scoring column, including seven with five points or more. Sophomore center Amber Bryson shined with season and team game-highs of 10 points and seven rebounds. Guards Tajruba Baldwin-Kollore and Tiara Goode both came off the bench to add eight points apiece as well.

The Lions were led offensively by Ally Leftridge (14 points, six rebounds) and Kimani Jackson (11 points), as well as point guard Ihnacinse Grady with a game-high five assists. Defensively, Alex Hampton had a game-high three steals and Brianna Perlmutter had a game-high two blocked shots.
UDC, which two days ago was out-rebounded, 47-29 at Queens during its worst loss in over three years, came out with a vengeance, as the Firebirds won today's rebounding battle, 46-32. This rebounding advantage led to eight more field goal attempts and two more free-throw attempts. UDC also shot slightly better than its opponent from the field (32-percent to 31-percent), three-point range (25-percent to 20-percent) and the foul line (72-percent to 69-percent).
The Firebirds missed their first 12 field goal attempts and turned the ball over four times as they failed to get on the scoreboard for the first 8:18 of play. Fortunately for the Firebirds, all the Lions could muster in that span was a layup by Jackson at the 7:39 mark, as Molloy was just 1-for-15 from the field and 0-for-2 at the free-throw line. A layup by Bryson knotted the score at 2-all at the 1:42 mark as both offenses began to pick up steam near the first quarter's end. Molloy's Hampton and UDC's Jenka Stiasna traded three-point field goals at 1:24 and 1:09, respectively, and Bryson and Leftridge traded baskets within the final minute as the first quarter came to a close with a 7-7 tie.
Bryson scored UDC's first four points in the 2nd quarter, twice putting the Firebirds up by two only to have Molloy answer at the other end to tie. But following a jump shot by Perlmutter at the 6:37 mark which tied the score at 11, UDC went on a 10-0 march to take a 21-11 lead with 3:15 remaining in the half. The Firebirds would lead 23-14 at intermission.
The third quarter saw Brandi Henton score four straight points to extend the Firebirds' lead to 27-14 1:30 into the action. UDC still led 33-21 at the 4:44 mark after a layup by Goode, but a 9-4 Lions charge to end the quarter allowed Molloy to close to seven, 37-30.
Again, UDC used a strong start to the quarter to extend its lead as the Firebirds opened the final stanza on a 9-1 run, kicked off by a Goode three-pointer at 9:39 and finished off with a Baldwin-Kollore layup at 7:29. Molloy twice pulled within seven, but never any closer than that as UDC cruised to a seven-point victory.
Next up, the Firebirds will battle with the top team in the ECC standings, undefeated NYIT (13-0 ECC), at home on Monday, February 8th at 5 p.m.


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