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Saturday, December 15, 2012

UDC Men's Basketball Falls to Roberts Wesleyan, 77-67

December 15, 2012

Firebirds Fall to Roberts Wesleyan, 77-67

WASHINGTON, DC – The University of the District of Columbia men's basketball team suffered its seventh straight loss as the Firebirds fell to 1-8 on the season with a 77-67 defeat at home against East Coast Conference newcomer, Roberts Wesleyan on Saturday afternoon at UDC Gym.
Just a five-point game at halftime, the Redhawks used two separate 8-0 runs in the second half to bolster their lead to double-digits, and they hung on for a 10-point margin of victory despite a frantic late rally by the Firebirds.
With the win, Roberts Wesleyan improved to 5-5 overall and 2-0 in its inaugural ECC season while District of Columbia fell to 0-2 in league play.
The Redhawks were led by their senior forward Devin Grimes, who packed the stat sheet with 23 points, 16 rebounds, two assists and three steals. Guard Mike Stone also added 16 points on 5-of-7 FG shooting (3-of-5 from three-point range) and Tyrel Dixon pitched in with 10 points, six rebounds and four assists.
Junior transfer Ralph Watts (Sociology – Peekskill, NY/UAlbany) had a team-high 16 points to go with three rebounds, two assists and a steal for the Firebirds. Junior transfer guard Michael Terry(Criminal Justice – Philadelphia, PA/Boston U) added 13 points, two steals and a block, and fellow junior transfer backcourt mate Quasim Jones (Business Management – Philadelphia, PA/Johnson CC) recorded 11 points, four rebounds and four assists.
Also, senior transfer forward D'Angelo Johnson (Mass Media – Washington, DC/Virginia State) notched his second straight double-figure scoring game, coming off the bench to record 10 points and eight rebounds. Senior starting guard Keith Brooks (Journalism – Queens, NY/Monsignor McClancy HS) gave the Firebirds a great effort as well with nine points, eight rebounds (which tied his career-high), four assists and two steals. District of Columbia was without starting forward Ziad Ashmawy, as he has suffered a torn meniscus. The timetable on his return is indefinite.
Roberts Wesleyan grabbed an 11-2 lead in the opening 3:20 of play, but the Firebirds fought their way back into the game with a 7-2 run to close the gap to four, 13-9, with the 15-minute mark approaching. The Redhawks' lead hovered between four and nine points for the next 10 minutes when, trailing 26-20, Johnson's pair of free-throws and jumper in back-to-back possessions brought District of Columbia within two, 26-24. The two teams traded baskets after that, but RWC scored the final three points of the half – a 1-of-2 trip at the foul line by Stone and a layup by William Kemp-harris, and took a 31-26 lead at intermission.
Watts buried a jumper 48 seconds into the action for the first points of the second half to bring the Firebirds within three, 31-28, but that was as close as District of Columbia would get the rest of the way. Trailing 35-30, the Firebirds allowed the Redhawks on an 8-0 run, capped by a William Bromirski three-pointer to put RWC up, 43-30 at the 14:43 mark. Then after District of Columbia cut the lead back down to seven with consecutive three-pointers by Terry and Brooks, respectively, the Redhawks used another 8-0 run capped by Stone's three-pointer and took a 51-36 lead with 12:25 remaining.
Roberts Wesleyan, which shot 17-of-27 (63-percent) from the field and 5-of-7 (71-percent) from three-point range in the second half, grew its lead to as many as 17, before a frantic 14-4 Firebird run saw District of Columbia close the deficit to seven with 1:22 left in regulation. The Redhawks only made 6-of-10 free-throws down the stretch, but the Firebirds only lost ground as they shot just 1-for-5 from the field and 1-for-4 from the stripe in that time, resulting in a 10-point loss, 77-67.
The Firebirds have 15 days off for the winter holiday break before they visit non-conference foe UMass-Lowell on December 30th in their final game of the 2012 calendar year.

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