WASHINGTON, DC – The University of the District of Columbia men's basketball team was defeated, 93-90 by Molloy College in both teams' East Coast Conference opener Saturday afternoon at the UDC Sports Complex.
The Firebirds (1-6, 0-1 ECC) led by as many as 11 points in regulation and never trailed in the game until around the eight-minute mark of the second half. There were seven lead changes in the final eight minutes of the 2nd half, and with just five seconds left in regulation, UDC had an opportunity to pull in front with two free-throws, but missed the 2nd to leave the score tied at 71.
UDC never led in the first overtime session, and the Firebirds had to overcome a six-point deficit mid-way through the period just to force a 78-all tie. Then, after Molloy's Justin Caldwell scored the game's next three points, junior transfer guard Quadire Truesdale buried a clutch three-pointer from the top of the key with just eight seconds left to force an 81-all tie and send the game to a 2nd overtime.
In the second overtime, UDC opened on a 5-0 run to take an 86-81 lead with 3:53 left on the clock. The hosts still led by three, 90-87 following a fade-away jumper from the elbow by junior transfer guard Danny Shand with a little over one minute remaining, but the Lions went on to out-score UDC 6-0 in the final 1:18. First, Molloy's Nick Corbett knocked down a big three just under the one-minute mark to tie the score, then Steven Torre made 1-of-2 at the line to put the Lions in front to stay with 32 seconds remaining, and Josh Dennis sealed the victory with a layup at the five-second mark. The Firebirds misfired on their final three possessions, as they suffered a 93-90 loss in a game they controlled the lead for 36 minutes of play.
Truesdale led six UDC scorers in double-figures with a season-high 19 points while also collecting seven rebounds, three assists and one steal. Senior guard Traevon Butler pitched in 17 points, five rebounds and four assists, and Shand added 16 points, five rebounds, four assists and two steals off the bench.
Corbett led six Lions in double-figures with a game-high 21 points, forward Mike Torre provided a spark off the bench with 18 points and eight rebounds, and starting forward Justin Caldwell registered a double-double of 10 points and a game-high 14 rebounds. Also, reserve point guard Steven Torre handed out a game-high five assists to go with 13 points.
Poor free-throw shooting hurt the Firebirds, who shot 17-of-29 from the line for the game and missed a total of 11 free-throws in the 2nd half and two overtime periods combined. Molloy also enjoyed a 56-45 rebounding advantage, out-scoring UDC 40-26 in the paint and 15-3 in 2nd chance points.
Next up, UDC visits crosstown rival Bowie St. on Monday, December 4th at 7:30 p.m.