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Strong Second Half Propels University of the District of Columbia Men's Basketball to 91-67 Victory at Queens

Nigel Munson had game-highs of 22 points and nine assists while also pulling down eight rebounds.
Nigel Munson had game-highs of 22 points and nine assists while also pulling down eight rebounds.

FLUSHING, NY - The University of the District of Columbia won its third straight game as the visiting Firebirds defeated East Coast Conference foe Queens College, 91-67 on Saturday night at Fitzgerald Gym.

The Firebirds (17-3, 8-2 ECC) completed the season sweep of Queens with the help of four double-figure scorers. Senior guards Nigel Munson (Washington, DC - DeMatha HS) and Brandon Herbert (Baltimore, MD - McDonough HS) scored 22 points apiece to lead all scorers. Munson also handed out nine assists and grabbed eight rebounds. Queens fell to 4-17 overall and 3-8 in league play.

With its win today and a C.W. Post loss to Bridgeport earlier this afternoon, UDC moved within a game of tying the Pioneers for first place in the ECC standings.

Munson's layup at the 18:15 mark capped an 8-0 Firebirds run to start the game, but the Knights came charging back with a 10-1 run to take one of only two leads for the night, 10-9. Another layup by Munson, who had a team-high 11 first-half points, would put UDC back in front, 11-10. The Firebirds led 26-21 nearing the 11-minute mark when an 8-2 Knights run pushed Queens in front once more, 29-28. Dishawn Bradshaw (14 points, six rebounds, four assists) then made a layup to put UDC ahead for good with 9:12 left in the first stanza. The Firebirds took a 42-38 advantage into the break courtesy of a Florent Pontens (France – Cheshire Academy) layup with 46 seconds left for the final points of the half.

At the start of the second half, Queens kept within striking distance for the first five minutes of play and eventually tied the score at 54-all at the 14:43 mark on a layup by McDonald. The Firebirds would then distance themselves with a 15-4 run, taking a 69-58 lead on a Herbert three-pointer with 10:05 left to play. They led by nine (72-63) with 7:23 to play when they put the game out of reach with a 14-0 run over the next 4:34. Two free-throws by Dyrek Jones (nine points, 12 rebounds, four blocks) at the end of the run gave UDC a 23-point cushion (86-63), and the Firebirds went on to win by a 24-point margin, 91-67.

Another noteworthy performance for UDC came from Brandon Ennis (Ontario, Canada – Brampton), who recorded 11 points, eight rebounds and two blocks off the bench. The Firebirds' bench outscored Queens' reserves, 17-8 for the night. UDC out-shot Queens 49-percent to 40-percent from the field and dominated the rebounding battle, 45-28. The Firebirds also made out much better at the free-throw line, making 23-of-30 while Queens took only nine free-throws and made six. They also benefitted from 14 offensive rebounds, turning them into 16 second-chance points.

The Firebirds go back on the road for a visit to NYIT in Old Westbury, NY on Wednesday, February 8th at 7:30 p.m.