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Thursday, January 31, 2013

District of Columbia Struggles Down the Stretch in 53-51 Loss to Bridgeport

January 30, 2013

WASHINGTON, DC – The Firebirds erased a nine-point halftime deficit and twice took a one-point lead, including at the 2:40 mark, but they were outscored by Bridgeport, 5-2 in the final two minutes of regulation as they suffered their third straight loss, 53-51 in East Coast Conference play Wednesday night.
Senior guard Janelle Junior (Administration of Justice – Riverside, CA/La Sierra HS) knocked down a clutch jumper to cap a 4-0 Firebirds run which gave District of Columbia a 49-48 lead with 2:40 to play in the game. The Firebirds could have increased their lead when they forced a Bridgeport turnover on the ensuing possession, but they turned it right back over instead and sent UB's Priscilla Dodoo to the line to shoot two. Dodoo missed the first but made the second to force a 49-all tie with 1:55 to go. Dodoo then blocked a shot at the other end and assisted to Tanisha Carter for the go-ahead two-point jumper to make it 51-49 at the 1:40 mark.
The Firebirds' next three possessions resulted in two missed shots and then a turnover. Following the turnover (a steal by Aziza Patterson), the Purple Knights were able to run off five more seconds before District of Columbia could track down Carter and foul her to stop the clock. Carter then sank both free-throws to make it a two-possession game with just 16 ticks left, and the Firebirds could only manage a layup by junior Julissa Anderson (Criminal Justice – Greensboro, NC/Southeast Guilford HS) at the buzzer to make it a 53-51 final score.
Neither team shot well from the field, but District of Columbia was the better shooting team by far, making 22-of-64 (34-percent) compared to Bridgeport's 16-of-60 (27-percent). The Purple Knights, however, got to the free-throw line way more often and cashed in on 18-of-20 from the stripe compared to just 4-of-9 made by the Firebirds. UB also won the battle on the glass, 48-40 and turned 17 offensive rebounds into 20 second-chance points.
The Firebirds, who fell to 7-13 overall and 2-8 in league play, were led by junior forward Robin Keke (Biology – Bowie, MD/Bowie HS) with 11 points and four rebounds. Junior finished with 10 points, four rebounds, three steals and two assists, and sophomore Denikka Brent (Mechanical Engineering -Chesapeake, VA/Booker T. Washington HS) added nine points and a team-high nine rebounbds.
Bridgeport was paced by its two interior players, Priscilla Dodoo (14 points, game-high 17 rebounds) and ECC pre-season player of the year, Tanisha Carter (14 points, nine rebounds).
The Firebirds will look to end their three-game losing slide as they visit ECC foe Mercy College on Saturday, February 2nd at 12 p.m.

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