BROOKVILLE, NY – Dishawn Bradshaw led four Firebird scorers in double-figures with 20 points, but the No. 18 University of the District of Columbia men's basketball team fell, 85-75 in its regular season finale at C.W. Post on Saturday afternoon.
The Firebirds (22-4, 13-3 East Coast Conference) had their eight-game win-streak snapped as they also suffered their first and only regular season series sweep by an ECC opponent this season. They will now be the No. 2 seed in next week's ECC Tournament and play the winner of the No. 3 Bridgeport vs. No. 6 Molloy quarterfinal game on Wednesday night.
Meanwhile, C.W. Post (21-5, 15-1 ECC) claimed the regular season ECC championship title with today's win and will be the No. 1 seed in the conference tournament. The Pioneers will play the winner of the No. 4 Dowling vs. No. 5 NYIT quarterfinal game.
Similar to the first meeting between these two ECC powers (a 92-85 win by C.W. Post), the Firebirds were charged with 22 fouls compared to 13 by the Pioneers. The hosts took advantage, making 19-of-24 (79-percent) from the charity stripe while UDC made just 4-of-6. The two teams were about even from three-point range (UDC 5-of-17, CWP 6-of-19) and the Firebirds had a 46-percent to 42-percent field goal shooting advantage.
The Pioneers were also the more efficient team offensively with 14 assists to just eight turnovers while UDC had 12 assists and 13 turnovers. In addition, C.W. Post had the edge in the rebounding battle, 45-40. They had 18 offensive rebounds to UDC's 13, and had a 16-14 edge in second-chance points although the Firebirds outscored the Pioneers 46-36 in the paint for the day.
Bradshaw (Baltimore, MD – St. Frances Academy) led all Firebird scorers with 20 points on 9-of-16 shooting from the field (2-of-3 fro 3PT range). Nigel Munson (Washington, DC – DeMatha HS) scored 14 points in the second half and finished with 19 to go with eight rebounds and three assists. Brandon Herbert (Baltimore, MD – McDonough HS) registered 18 points and three steals – he has scored in double-figures in all 26 games this season. Also, Dyrek Jones (Brooklyn, NY – Bedford Academy) had a double-double of 10 points and 11 rebounds to go with three blocks.
C.W. Post was led by Stefan Bonneau, who scored a game-high 26 points on 8-of-21 FG shooting and 8-of-8 FT shooting and also handed out a game-high five assists. Vaughn Allen was dominant inside with 18 points and a game-high 16 rebounds. Tobin Carberry also scored 18 points and handed out three assists.
Allen scored four of the first six points of the game and the Pioneers led 6-2 with a little over three minutes gone by. An and-one layup by Herbert then jump-started a 7-0 Firebirds run that propelled them to a 9-6 lead. Still up 12-10 at the 13:47 mark, UDC went on a 10-4 run which gave them their largest lead of the afternoon, 22-14 just past the 10-minute mark.
The Pioneers would answer with an 18-2 run to pull in front, 32-24 after a three-pointer by Terry Coleman, and they would wind up taking a 41-34 lead into halftime.
Bradshaw and Ashmawy made back-to-back layups to start the second half and shrink C.W. Post's lead to three, 41-38, but that was as close as UDC would get the rest of the way. By the 12-minute mark, the Pioneers had a double-figure lead, which they grew to as many as 15 on a number of occasions. The Firebirds showed no quit though, closing to within eight in the final minute of the game before ultimately losing by a final verdict of 85-75.