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Saturday, January 12, 2013

UDC Women's Basketball Falls to LIU Post, 55-46


January 12, 2013

Firebirds Second Half Comeback Falls Short at LIU Post

BROOKVILLE, NY – Without its leading scorer, senior guard Janelle Junior, the University of the District of Columbia women's basketball team still nearly pulled off an improbable second half comeback against East Coast Conference foe LIU Post, but the Firebirds were ultimately saddled with a 55-46 defeat on Saturday afternoon at the Pratt Center.
An 11-1 Firebirds surge over the course of 7:24 helped District of Columbia pull within 46-42 with just over two minutes to play, but seven consecutive points by the Pioneers iced the game for the hosts. The Firebirds have now lost four straight games as they fall to 6-9 overall and 1-4 in league play. LIU Post improved to 10-3 overall and 3-2 in conference.
Sophomore guard Denikka Brent (Mechanical Engineering – Chesapeake, VA/Booker T. Washington HS) and junior forward Robin Keke (Biology – Bowie, MD/Bowie HS) carried District of Columbia, which made just 1-of-13 from behind-the-arc in the absence of Junior, the team's best outside shooter. Brent, who been struggling coming into the game, registered as many points (14) as she has the last three games combined and added seven rebounds while Keke added 13 points, eight rebounds and three steals.
The Pioneers, who ran their home win streak to 14 games dating back to last season, were led by Nicole Marciniak's double-double of game-highs, 22 points and 14 rebounds. Chelsea Williams added 10 points and six boards while Ashley Caggiano, the league's best three-point shooter, canned 2-of-5 from behind-the arc to finish with six points and a game-high five assists.
LIU Post dominated on the boards (52-36 rebounding edge), shot much better from behind-the arc (5-of-18, 28-percent to 1-of-13, 8-percent) and the free-throw line (12-of-14, 86-percent to 7-of-14, 50-percent), and were much more effective passing the ball with 14 assists to the Firebirds' four. This marked the second straight game that District of Columbia has failed to score 50 points and the fourth time this season.
Junior point guard Teara Shaw (Health Education – Bronx, NY/John F. Kennedy HS) scored the game's first points to put the Firebirds up 2-0, but District of Columbia would miss its next 11 shots and fall behind 10-2 by the 13:09 mark of the first half. Two consecutive baskets by the Firebirds would cut the Pioneers' lead to 10-6, but LIU Post went on a 16-7 run to go up 26-13 with 5:43 remaining before halftime. The Pioneers would take a 33-21 cushion into intermission.
The Firebirds pulled within 10 (36-26) almost four minutes into the second half following a jumper by Brent, but a three-pointer by Caggiano and a jumper by Marciniak gave the Pioneers their largest lead of the day, 41-26 with just over 14 minutes left to play.
Still trailing 45-31with under nine minutes remaining, Brent made a pair of free-throws to ignite what amounted to an 11-1 Firebirds run over the next 7:24. During that span, junior guard Julissa Anderson (Criminal Justice – Greensboro, NC/Southeast Guilford HS) connected on District of Columbia's only made three-point field goal of the day to help the Firebirds pull within four, 46-42 with 2:11 left in regulation.
At that point, things began to unravel for District of Columbia. A foul by Keke sent Marciniak to the line, and she sank both at the 1:52 mark to up the lead to six. Then, a Chelsea Williams steal resulted in an and-one jumper for Alexis Peters, who converted to make it a nine-point game. Following Peters' conventional three-point play, the Firebirds missed a shot at the other end, and Samantha Kopp connected on a jumper for LIU Post to complete a 7-0 Pioneers charge and put the hosts up by a comfortable, 11-point advantage with just 45 seconds to play. LIU Post would go on to win by nine, 55-46.
Next up for the Firebirds is another road game at reigning ECC champion, Dowling on Wednesday, January 16th at 5 p.m.   

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