Washington, DC – In an historic event in University of the District of Columbia Athletics history, the Men's Basketball Team earned its first victory ever in a conference. The Firebirds defeated East Coast Conference (ECC) foe Queens College 77-69 at home in the UDC Gym in the Sports Complex. With the win the Firebirds advance to 6-1 on the season, while the Knights drop to 2-2.
The Firebirds jumped out to an early lead 11-4 lead just three minutes into the contest. It looked like UDC might run away with it, but the Knights hung around in the early goings and tied it up at 13-13 at the 13:59 mark. Despite the quick start for the Firebirds, the game was very close for the remainder of the first half. There were six ties in the first half, but the Knights could never claim the lead at any point, and the Firebirds led 37-34 at the half.
The Firebirds went on a 16-4 run to start the second half, and they were able to establish control from that point forward. The Knights climbed back to within four on two occasions in the second half, but they could not get within four. UDC shot 46.5% from the field on the night. The Firebirds were able to hold on, closing out the game 77-69.
The Firebirds were led by senior captains Nigel Munson (Washington, DC – Dematha HS) and Brandon Herbert (Baltimore, MD – McDonogh School) once again. Munson had 6 assists and 5 rebounds while scoring 25 points on 11-18 shooting. Herbert chipped in 21 points on 8-23 shooting. Senior center Diyaaldin Kelley (Philadelphia, PA – Mariana Bracetti HS) had a big time game for the Firebirds scoring 15 points and gathering 8 rebounds.
UDC Head Coach Jeff Ruland had this to say about the first ever ECC victory, "It's a very important thing for our team and for the university to win our first conference game. We have a few guys who are pretty banged up, and we have been traveling a lot lately. Good teams find a way to win, and we were able to do that tonight under some extenuating circumstances. And add to it that it was our first league win…it's a good win for us."
The Firebird return to action on Saturday at Washington Adventist at 7:00 pm.