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Saturday, March 15, 2014

University of the District of Columbia Women’s Basketball Falls to Stonehill in NCAA East Regional Quarterfinals

March 14, 2014

WALTHAM, MA – The University of the District of Columbia women's basketball team's storybook 2013-14 season came to a close in the NCAA Division II East Regional Tournament quarterfinals as the No. 5 seeded Firebirds were defeated by No. 4 seed Stonehill, 79-61 on Friday night at the Dana Center.
UDC (21-8) led by as many as 10 points in the first half, but runs by the Skyhawks where they outscored the Firebirds 12-3 midway through the period and 4-0 in the final minute, resulted in a mere one-point lead (34-33) at halftime for UDC.
After trading blows for the first five minutes of the second half, Stonehill took control of the game with a 17-2 run over a span of about six minutes to take a commanding, 57-44 lead with 8:37 left to play. The Firebirds, who shot just 25-percent from the field in the second half, could get no closer than 10 points the rest of the way as the Skyhawks out-scored UDC, 46-27 in the closing period en-route to a comfortable, 18-point margin of victory.
Junior transfer guard Telisha Turner (Criminal Justice – Wilmington, DE/Harcum), a First Team All-ECC selection, led all scorers with 27 points. She shot 6-of-12 and finished with 17 points in the first half, but cooled off considerably in the second half as she made just 2-of-10 field goals (0-for-5 from behind-the-arc). Junior forward Denikka Brent (Mechanical Engineering – Chesapeake, VA/Booker T. Washington HS) also posted her seventh double-double of the season with 15 points and a team-high 10 rebounds, including seven on the offensive glass.
Stonehill (19-9), who out-shot the Firebirds 43-percent to 32-percent from the field and 35-percent to 32-percent from three-point range, featured a much more balanced offensive attack that saw five different Skyhawk players score in double-figures. Sophomore reserve guard Shannon Brown led the way with 18 points in 21 minutes off the bench, and senior guard Mary Louise Dixon, a First Team All-East Region selection, added 17 points, seven assists and six rebounds. Forward Tori Faieta and guard Paige Marshall gave the Firebirds fits inside as they scored 14 points apiece and together combined for 21 rebounds, including eight on the offensive glass.
After winning the rebounding battle, 21-20 in the first half, UDC was out-rebounded 26-16 in the second half and allowed Stonehill 15 second-chance points on nine offensive rebounds. Also, UDC's bench, which had been a strength all year long, simply did not come alive in the second half to compensate for Turner's second half struggles. The Skyhawks outscored the Firebirds 21-9 for the night in bench points, including a 14-0 advantage in the second half.
The Firebirds say goodbye to four departing seniors who helped the program win its first ever East Coast Conference championship, earn its sixth 20-win season, and return to the NCAA Division II Tournament for the sixth time and the second time in three years. Those seniors are: Julissa AndersonSnezana BlagojevicMilena Bubnjevic and Teara Shaw.
Also along the way, head coach Lester Butler, Jr. surpassed 150 career wins in his 10th season at UDC, and Telisha Turner surpassed 1,000 career points.

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