Melbourne, FL – The University of the District of Columbia Men's Basketball Team traveled to Florida Tech to participate in the Florida Tech Thanksgiving Tournament Friday afternoon at the Clemente Center. The Firebirds won the first round game over Flagler College by a score of 83-70. The Firebirds withstood a Flagler team that shot 75% from three point range in the first half. With the win UDC advances to 4-1 on the season while the Saints drop their first game of the season and fall to 4-1.
The Firebirds were paced by senior guard and captain Brandon Herbert (Baltimore, MD – McDonogh School) who scored 20 points and had 5 rebounds on the afternoon. Fellow senior guard and captain Nigel Munson (Washington, DC – Dematha HS) added 14 points, 7 assists, and 7 rebounds. Another senior guard, Dishawn Bradshaw (Baltimore, MD – St. Frances Academy), scored 15 points towards the victory. An especially key performer on the night was junior forward Dyrek Jones (Brooklyn, NY – Bedford Academy HS) who tallied 14 points on 5-8 shooting to go along with 4 steals and 6 rebounds.
The Firebirds continued their strong defensive mindset on the year accumulating 10 steals and forcing 18 turnovers by the Saints. The game started out slow for the Firebirds, and Flagler held a 37-27 lead at the 8:22 mark in the first half, but UDC was able to use their strong defense to hold Flagler in check and amass a 14-6 run to finish out the half. Flagler led 43-41 at halftime. UDC then went on a 24-13 run sparked by Herbert, and finished by Munson. The stifling defense of the Firebirds held the Saints to just 33% shooting in the second half. UDC held on to win 83-70.
UDC Head Coach Jeff Ruland had this to say about today's win, "We played great defense today, especially in the second half. Holding them to 33% shooting in the second half was huge. Dyrek [Jones] had a big game for us off the bench. This is a quality win for us. Flagler is a good team. We are going to the finals...We'll see what we can do tomorrow."
UDC will take the court again tomorrow afternoon at 4:30 pm at the Florida Tech Thanksgiving Tournament against the winner of Florida Tech/ P.R.-Rio Piedras.