WASHINGTON, DC – Senior guards Nigel Munson, Brandon Herbert and Dishawn Bradshaw put on a show for a packed house at UDC Gym in their final home game as Firebirds, as the No. 18 University of the District of Columbia men's basketball team rolled past Molloy, 109-78 for its eighth straight win in East Coast Conference action Wednesday night.
Munson (Washington, DC – DeMatha HS) set a new school and ECC record for assists in a game as he handed out 16 for the night, including 12 in the first half. The three-time reigning ECC player of the week also scored 12 points and grabbed six rebounds. He electrified the crowd at UDC Gym with a one-handed slam off of an errant Firebird three-point attempt.
Meanwhile, Herbert (Baltimore, MD – McDonough HS) and Bradshaw (Baltimore, MD – St. Frances Academy) combined to shoot 20-for-32 from the field (13-for-20 from behind-the-arc) and score 28 points apiece. Junior Keith Brooks also came off the bench to score 19 points on 5-of-10 FG shooting (4-of-8 from long-range).
With tonight's win, UDC improved to 22-3 overall and 13-2 in ECC play, thereby assuring at least a second-place finish in the league standings and a first-round bye in the conference tournament. The Firebirds, in their inaugural season as members of the ECC, have swept six of the other eight schools in the league and beaten every school except C.W. Post at least once. They visit the Pioneers on Saturday as part of the ECC Douleheader of the Week, with tip-off at 3:30 p.m.
Molloy fell to 8-18 overall and 5-11 in the ECC, but remains in sixth-place in the league standings. The Lions had four scorers in double-figures: John Petrucelli (19 points), Matt McLeod (15 points), and Jimmy Nolan and Richard Zoller with 14 apiece.
While both teams shot well, Molloy's 46-percent shooting from the field was not enough to keep up with UDC's red-hot 56-percent clip. The Firebirds also shot a scorching 17-of-32 (53-percent) from long-range while Molloy made just 4-of-17 (24-percent). UDC also dominated the glass tonight, 41-23, with Dyrek Jones (Brooklyn, NY – Bedford Academy) and Ziad Ashmawy (Cairo, Egypt, American City College) grabbing nine and eight rebounds, respectively.
Bradshaw's streak of 31 consecutive free-throws over the last six games came to an end when he missed his first free-throw tonight; however, he finished 3-of-4 for the game, and the Firebirds made 20-of-23 (87-percent) as a team.
The first half featured nine lead changes and four ties, but the Firebirds scored 10 of the final 16 points and took a 52-43 lead at the break. Both teams shot 53-percent from the field in the half, but UDC's 9-of-15 three-point shooting compared to Molloy's 2-of-7 was the major difference.
Molloy's McLeod scored the first basket of the second half to cut the Lions' deficit to seven, but over the next 10 minutes, the Firebirds went on a 32-10 spell and took complete control of the game. Bradshaw made three consecutive three-point field goals and Herbert made two consecutive treys during this stretch, which culminated in an electrifying Munson dunk and a Brandon Ennis (Ontario, Canada – Brampton) layup.
UDC grew its lead to as many as 37 after Bradshaw's fifth three-pointer of the second half, and went on to earn its fifth victory with a margin of 30 or more points. During its eight-game win-streak, UDC has beaten its opponents by an average of 22.0 points per-game. This was also the fourth time this season UDC has surpassed 100 points in a game.