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Sunday, February 3, 2013

District of Columbia Mauls Mercy, 94-46 to End Three-Game Losing Skid

February 2, 2013

DOBBS FERRY, NY – Eleven different Firebird players entered the scoring column including five in double-figures as the University of the District of Columbia walloped winless Mercy, 94-46 in East Coast Conference action at Mercy Gym on Saturday afternoon.
The Firebirds put the brakes on their three-game losing streak as they improved to 8-13 overall and 3-8 in league play with today's win. This also marked their first conference road victory of the season in six tries. Mercy fell to 0-19 overall and 0-11 in the ECC.
All 12 Firebirds players made significant contributions as District of Columbia posted its highest scoring output and most lopsided win in nearly two years. Senior guard Janelle Junior(Administration of Justice – Riverside, CA/La Sierra HS) shot 6-for-8 from the field including 4-of-6 from long-distance to lead all scorers with 18 points. Sophomore guard Denikka Brent (Mechanical Engineering – Chesapeake, VA/Booker T. Washington HS) added 14 points, eight rebounds and a game-high four steals. Freshman forward Tiara Goode (Forensics – Brentwood, NY/Brentwood HS) notched season-highs of 12 points and eight rebounds, freshman forward Tatyana Calhoun(Environmental Science – Disputanta, VA/ Sussex Central HS) posted 11 points and seven rebounds, and junior guard Julissa Anderson (Criminal Justice – Greensboro, NC/Southeast Guilford HS) pitched in with 10 points.
Other notable performances came from senior reserve guard Ty Abilla (Mass Media – Galloway, NJ/Absegami HS) and freshman reserve guard Tajruba Baldwin-Kollore. Abilla did a little of everything for the Firebirds, stuffing the stat sheet with eight points, seven rebounds, a career-high six assists and four steals. Baldwin-Kollore scored eight points and grabbed three rebounds.
Mercy was led by two double-figure scorers – starting forward Aysha Williams (16 points, five rebounds, four assists) and starting guard Maria Narduli (13 points, five rebounds, three steals).
District of Columbia's Anderson made two three-pointers in the opening 2:11 to help the Firebirds to an early 6-2 lead. Then, following a Danielle Losee three-pointer to bring Mercy within one (6-5), District of Columbia raced out to a 12-1 run highlighted by two consecutive three-pointers by Junior, and the Firebirds, who made four of their first six three-point attempts of the game, had an 18-6 lead with 13:40 to play in the first half. Mercy scored the next two consecutive baskets to cut the deficit to a manageable, 18-10 at the 12:38 mark, but that was as close as the Mavericks would get the rest of the way. District of Columbia, already ahead by 13 (30-17) with 4:18 left before intermission, closed out the half on an 8-0 run to take a commanding, 38-17 lead at the break.
A little over a minute-and-a-half into the closing frame, Mercy's Nardulli connected on a three-pointer to pull the Mavericks within 19, 42-23. But the Firebirds' shut-down defense held their hosts to two points over the next 6:18 while they went on a 25-2 surge and put the game out of reach with a 69-27 lead at the 11-minute mark. Head coach Lester Butler, Jr. emptied his bench in the second half, and still the Firebirds maintained a lead of 40 or better for the final nine minutes of regulation. Abilla would score all eight of her points, Baldwin-Kollore six of her eight, and juniorSnezana Blagojevic (Business Management – Kragujevac, Serbia/Towson Catholic HS) knocked down both of her two three-point field goals, all in the second half as the Firebirds' bench totaled 41 points in the second half (58 for the game).
District of Columbia out-shot their hosts 49-percent to 25-percent from the field and dominated on the boards, 56-31. The Firebirds outscored the Mavericks, 46-14 in the paint, and they turned 23 offensive rebounds into 24 second-chance points while holding Mercy to just three second-chance points. District of Columbia was also the much more efficient passing team (19 assists/19 turnovers), forcing Mercy into 27 turnovers while the Mavericks posted just eight assists.

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