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Thursday, January 17, 2013

Firebirds Fall, 83-67 at Dowling

January 16, 2013

OAKDALE, NY – The University of the District of Columbia men's basketball team was defeated by East Coast Conference foe Dowling, 83-67 on Wednesday night at Dowling Gym.
With the loss, the Firebirds fell to 2-12 overall (1-5 ECC) while Dowling won its second straight game to improve to 5-9 overall and 2-4 in league play.
Junior transfer guard Ralph Watts (Sociology – Peekskill, NY/UAlbany) led five Firebirds scorers in double-figures with 14 points, which included an 8-of-10 performance at the free-throw line. Junior transfer point guard Quasim Jones (Business  Management – Philadelphia, PA/Johnson CC) and senior transfer forward D'Angelo Johnson (Mass Media – Washington, DC/Virginia St.) added 13 points apiece, reserve senior guard Keith Brooks (Journalism – Queens, NY/Monsignor McClancy HS) shot 7-of-7 from the free-throw line and finished with 11 points, and junior transfer guardMichael Terry pitched in with 10 points.
Dowling also had five scorers in double-figures, including Darien Davis' game-high 17 points on 7-of-15 shooting from the field. Corwin Austin registered 12 points and three assists, Evan Maxwell and Justin Leonard both had double-doubles as they combined for 21 points and 21 rebounds, and reserve Ronald Baker added 11 points as well.
The Golden Lions, who came in just above the Firebirds as the next to last place rebounding team in the league, owned a commanding, 42-29 rebounding edge and turned their 13 offensive rebounds into 16 second-chance points. They outscored the Firebirds 46-16 in the paint, including a 24-6 disparity in the first half. Dowling also shot much better (50-percent to 38-percent) from the field and more than doubled-up District of Columbia in assists (14-6) while turning the ball over just one more time (18-17). The Golden Lions also benefitted from a 36-16 advantage in bench points as a result of a still depleted Firebirds squad being limited to just three substitute players.
Dowling raced out to a 10-2 lead in the opening 2:42 of action as District of Columbia head coach Jeff Ruland called a timeout. Out of that timeout, the Firebirds used a 10-0 rally to pull in front 12-10 on a three-pointer by Terry. That would be the Firebirds' only lead of the game though, as Davis' three-pointer sparked a 23-4 surge by the Golden Lions which propelled them to a commanding, 33-16 advantage with 6:13 to play in the first half. The Firebirds cut into the 17-point deficit with three consecutive free-throws, but a 5-0 Dowling run led to a 21-point cushion (44-23) with just under a minute to go before halftime. A pair of free throws by District of Columbia's Jones in the waning seconds of the half would make it 44-25 at intermission.
After shooting just 24-percent (7-of-29) from the field in the first half, the Firebirds heated up in the 2nd half to shoot 13-of-24 (54-percent). Unfortunately for District of Columbia, Dowling shot 50-percent from the field in both halves, and so the Firebirds would only outscore their hosts 42-39 in the closing frame. Watts scored 12 of his 14 and Brooks score nine of his 11 in the second half, and the Firebirds were even in the rebounding battle (14-14) in the closing 20 minutes. However, the closest District of Columbia got in the final period was 12, as Dowling cruised to a 16-point victory.
Next up, the Firebirds host ECC foe Molloy for their annual Youth Day celebration. Tip-off is at 1 p.m. at UDC Gym.

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