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Thursday, February 14, 2013

District of Columbia Suffers Third Straight Loss, 79-65 to LIU Post

February 13, 2013

WASHINGTON, DC – The University of the District of Columbia women's basketball team suffered its third straight setback as it fell to East Coast Conference foe, LIU Post by a score of 79-65 on Wednesday night at UDC Gym.
The Firebirds fell to 3-11 in league play (8-16 overall) while LIU Post snapped a two-game losing skid and improved to 8-6 (15-7 overall) to remain at 5th place in the ECC standings.
District of Columbia sophomore guard Denikka Brent (Mechanical Engineering – Chesapeake, VA/Booker T. Washington HS) had her fourth straight double-figure scoring output as she led all scorers with 19 points to go with team-highs of six rebounds and three assists. Freshman guardTajruba Baldwin-Kollore (Public Health – Newport News, VA/Denbigh HS) also added 11 points in what was her 12th start of the season.
LIU Post featured five scorers in double-figures, including Nicolette Marciniak's double-double of 14 points and a game-high 15 rebounds. She did most of her damage in the first half – registering 10 points and 13 rebounds in the opening period. The Pioneers were also paced by Chelsea William's team-high 17 points (4-for-4 from three-point range), Ashley Caggiano's 15 points, Kenyatta Sears' 13 points and game-high seven assists, and Alexis Peters' 12 points, six rebounds and five assists.
Williams' three-pointer at the 17:07 mark capped a 10-3 game-opening run by LIU Post as the visitors never trailed the entire night. Trailing 13-7, the Firebirds used a three-pointer by junior starting guard Snezana Blagojevic (Business Management – Kragujevac, Serbia/Towson Catholic) and consecutive two-point baskets by Brent during a 7-2 surge that brought the hosts within one, 15-14, nearing the 14-minute mark. But the Pioneers responded with two consecutive three-pointers by Williams and Caggiano over a span of 1:28 to rebuild a seven-point cushion, 21-14.
The Firebirds would later cut the lead to three (23-20) after consecutive baskets by junior point guard Teara Shaw (Health Education – Bronx, NY/John F. Kennedy HS) and sophomore Lianne Miller (Health Education – Fareham, England/Swanmore College of Technology), but the Pioneers would close out the final 8:14 on a 15-4 run, highlighted by a three-pointer each by Sears and Caggiano. LIU Post shot 7-of-13 (54-percent) as a team from behind-the-arc in the first half while District of Columbia was just 2-of-8 (25-percent), and the Pioneers led 38-24 at halftime.
The Firebirds came out strong in the second half, closing to within 10 (40-30) after a 6-2 run in the first two minutes of action once play resumed. LIU Post answered with a 10-2 run, culminating in a conventional three-point play by Alexis Peters to give the visitors their largest lead of the night, 50-32. Still trailing 52-35 just past the 13-minute mark, the Firebirds went on an 8-0 march to pull within nine, 52-43. But after the two teams traded baskets, resulting in a 54-45 score, LIU Post virtually put the game out of reach with an 11-2 run which put them in front once again by their largest margin of the night, 65-47. District of Columbia could never get any closer than 11 the rest of the way, as they fell by a final verdict of 79-65.
Though the Firebirds shot 17-of-28 from the field (61-percent) in the 2nd half, it was not enough to make up  any ground from its 14-point halftime deficit as LIU Post shot a scorching 12-of-16 (75-percent) from the field, 2-of-2 from three-point range, and a very impressive 15-of-16 from the foul line in the closing period. For the game, District of Columbia was out-shot 54-percent to 39-percent from the field, 60-percent to 33-percent from long-range, and 78-percent (18-of-23) to 54-percent (7-of-13) from the free-throw line. The Pioneers also dominated the rebounding battle, 44-27 and doubled-up the Firebirds in assists (20-10). District of Columbia did have far fewer turnovers (14 vs. 23) and had the more productive bench with a 25-21 edge in bench points.
The Firebirds will look to end their three-game losing slide as they host the No. 17 ranked team in the nation, Dowling College on Saturday at 1 p.m.

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