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University of the District of Columbia Men's Basketball Blows By Mercy for 20th Win of the Season

Brandon Herbert scored 13 of the team's first 25 points and finished with a game-high 24.
Brandon Herbert scored 13 of the team's first 25 points and finished with a game-high 24.

DOBBS FERRY, NY - Brandon Herbert led five Firebird scorers in double-figures with 24 points as the No. 22 University of the District of Columbia men's basketball team blew past Mercy College by a final score of 111-68 in East Coast Conference play Wednesday night at Mercy Gym to win its 20th game of the season.

"To win 20 games this year was one of our goals, and it's great we achieved that," head coach Jeff Ruland said after earning his fourth 20-win season of his head coaching career. "Our focus was good tonight. We played very good defense, and we shared the ball very well." 

The Firebirds, who scored a season-high as a team as they surpassed 100 points in a game for the third time this season, earned their sixth straight win to improve to 20-3 overall and 11-2 in league play. This is the first 20-win season  by a UDC team since 2006-07, and the seventh in the program's history. Mercy fell to 3-20 overall and 2-11 in league play.

Eleven different Firebirds entered the scoring column, including three with 20 or more. Herbert (Baltimore, MD - McDonough HS) was 10-of-15 from the field (4-of-7 from long range) as he scored 13 of the team's first 25 points and finished with a game-high 24 to go with seven rebounds and two steals. Fellow senior backcourt mate, Nigel Munson (Washington, DC - DeMatha HS) shot 8-of-11 from the field as he registered 21 points, six assists and two steals. Also, Dishawn Bradshaw (Baltimore, MD - St. Frances Academy) made 7-of-7 free-throws en-route to a 20-point performance, and he also handed out six assists.

Ziad Ashmawy (Cairo, Egypt - American City College) was close to a double-double with 12 points and eight rebounds, and Keith Brooks (Harlem, NY - Monsignor McClancy HS) pitched in with 10 points.

UDC did not miss a beat when head coach Jeff Ruland emptied his bench in the second half. Firebird reserves combined for 26 points, including a seven-point performance by senior David Sanders (Upper Marlboro, MD - Paul VI Catholic HS) on a perfect 3-of-3 from the field in four minutes of action. Milton Colquehgon, Philip Izevbehai, Ade Adetosoye and Florent Pontens each contributed to the scoring line as well.

The Firebirds' 111 points was the most by a UDC team since December 1st, 2006, when the Firebirds earned a lopsided 133-53 win over Ohio State-Marion.

Next up for UDC is a rematch at home against ECC foe University of Bridgeport. The Knights (10-2 ECC) beat the Firebirds on their home floor, 77-75 on January 14th. They sit just one game back of UDC in the standings at third place. Tip-off is at 3 p.m. on Saturday, February 18th.