Indiana, PA: December 3, 2010- In an exciting, close contest, the Indiana University of Pennsylvania Crimson Hawks Women's Basketball Team narrowly defeated the University of the District of Columbia Firebirds, 55-53, tonight in Indiana, Pennsylvania. The Firebirds led most of the game and appeared to seal the win when senior center Lillian McGill (Criminal Justice- Sumter, SC) made a layup with 5 seconds remaining to give UDC a 1-point lead (53-52). IUP then inbounded the ball to Lacey Claar, who passed to Eryn Withers, who shot the ball from beyond the arc with 1 second on the clock and scored, to snatch the win away from the Firebirds. IUP improved to 2-2 with this win, while UDC fell to 4-3.
The lead changed 5 times and the score was tied 5 times in the second half as the Firebirds built a 6-point lead with 11:37 remaining. However, the Crimson Hawks would not go away, clawing their way back to knot the score at 44 at the 4:50 mark.
The Firebirds responded, going ahead by 2 on a McGill free throw with 4:31 remaining. The Crimson Hawks came right back when Katelyn Marshall hit two free-throws to tie the score at 46, with 3:53 left in the game, then took a 2-point lead on a Marshall layup, making the score 48-46.
After a free-throw by Marshall the score was 49-46 IUP, with 1:38 remaining, but graduate student, guard Niqky Hughes (Public Administration-Fort Worth, TX) drained a 3-pointer to knot the score at 49. Junior forward Stacy Griffith (Architecture-Fredericksburg, VA) grabbed a big rebound after teammate Ty Abilla (Mass Media- Galloway, NJ) missed a free-throw. Griffith was fouled by Vianca Tejada and converted two free-throws to give the Firebirds a 51-49 lead.
Claar then hit a 3-pointer for IUP with 20 seconds remaining to take a, 52-51, lead before McGill's layup which gave UDC the, 53-52 lead and apparent victory. However, Wither's last second 3-point shot notched the win for IUP, 55-53.
Hughes had a game-high 17 points, 4 rebounds, 1 assist and 1 steal for the UDC, as she and McGill, who had a 16 points, 8 rebound and 2 steal performance; as they reached double figures in the game. Junior guard Kendra Johnson (Mass Media- Mt. Laurel, NJ) added 9 points, 3 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 steals.Griffith also grabbed 8 rebounds during the game.
Two IUP players were in double figures, led by Withers with 15 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists and 5 steals, followed by Claar with 13 points, 2 rebounds, 5 assists and 1 steal. Marshall added 7 points, 4 assists and 2 steals to the winning effort. UDC took a 27-24 lead into the halftime break.
UDC shot 38 percent (21-55) from the field, 29 percent (5-17) from beyond the arc and 60 percent (6-10) from the charity stripe for the game, while IUP shot 37 percent (18-49) from the field, 41 percent (7-17) from three-point range and 92 percent ( 12-13) from the charity stripe.
UDC out-rebounded IUP 41-26, but IUP's 27-10 point advantage off turnovers made the difference in the game. The IUP bench outscored UDC 10-7. UDC held the advantage in points scored in the paint 22-14.
The Firebirds next game will be at home, December 8, at 5:30p.m., against across town rival Bowie State University.