WASHINGTON, DC – Led by senior guard Nigel Munson (Washington, DC – DeMatha HS), who was one assist shy of a triple-double, the No. 22 University of the District of Columbia men's basketball team earned its seventh straight victory on Saturday afternoon with an 89-66 win over East Coast Conference foe University of Bridgeport.
"I was obviously very happy with our team today," head coach Jeff Ruland said. "I thought it was a great day all-around, giving such a tremendous performance in front of the 1982 National championship team and all the other inaugural hall of fame inductees. It was a great weekend for the entire athletic department. I give Nigel a lot of credit, as he showed a lot of toughness battling through an injury in the first half and playing as well as he did."
The Firebirds, who avenged a 77-75 loss at Bridgeport on January 14th, improved to 21-3 and 12-2 in league play. The Purple Knights, meanwhile, fell to 15-9 overall and 10-4 in league play.
District of Columbia, who has outscored its opponents by 20.7 points per-game during this seven-game win-streak, featured three double-figure scorers and one player in double-figures with blocked shots. Munson was the catalyst offensively with 21 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists. Brandon Herbert (Baltimore, MD – McDonough HS) provided the outside shooting, canning six of his seven three-point field goal attempts and finishing with a game-high 24 points.
Dishawn Bradshaw (Baltimore, MD – St. Frances Academy), who has now made 31 consecutive free-throws in as many attempts in the last six games, was 10-for-10 from the foul line tonight as he registered 19 points, three assists and three steals. Finally, Dyrek Jones (Brooklyn, NY – Bedford Academy HS) was just two rebounds shy of a double-double as he sent away 10 shots and pulled down eight boards.
William Harrison (17 points), Hakeem Rodriguez (12 points) and Dante Menter (11 points) carried the visitors offensively as the Knights shot just 36-percent from the field and made just 1-of-12 (8%) from three-point range.
Meanwhile, UDC made 46-percent from the field (28-of-61), 52-percent from three-point range (11-of-21) and 82-percent from the free-throw line (22-of-27).
Harrison scored the first two points of the game on a layup a little over 30 seconds in and later threw down a two-handed slam off of an assist by Rodriguez to put the Knights up 8-3at the 16:50 mark. At that point, a 15-3 Firebirds surge, helped by nine consecutive points by Munson, catapulted UDC to an 18-11 advantage.
Six straight points by Bridgeport, including four consecutive free-throws in one trip down the floor by Darian David, cut the UDC lead to just one, 18-17, with 8:13 left to play in the first half. But the hosts responded with another 15-3 run over the next three-and-a-half minutes to push their lead back to 13, 33-20. The Firebirds would take a 15-point cushion, 45-30 into the intermission.
The Firebirds came out red-hot in the second half as two Herbert three-pointers helped UDC storm out to a 10-2 run over the first 3:07 and take a commanding 55-32 lead. From that point on, Bridgeport never got any closer than 20 points as the Firebirds made 15-of-30 (50%) from the field to outpace the Knights. UDC went on to win with ease, 89-66.
UDC will host Molloy College for Senior Night on Wednesday, February 22nd at 7:30 p.m.