Washington, DC: December 19, 2010 – In the final game of the UDC Holiday Classic, the UDC women's basketball team (7-4) gave the #2 team in the country, the Lander University Bearcats (11-0), all it could handle in a game that went down to the wire, but that the Bearcats eventually won 59-55.
The loss was the first at home for the Firebirds this season in seven games, and only the fourth overall. UDC was led by senior forward Lillian McGill (Admin. Of Justice – Sumter, SC), who had 14 points and a game-high 17 rebounds. Junior guard Kendra Johnson (Mass Media – Mt. Laurel, NJ) pitched in 13 points on 50% shooting from the field, and junior forward Stacy Griffith (Architecture – Fredericksburg, VA) added 9 points and 13 rebounds.
UDC led early on in the game, as the Firebirds raced to a 19-7 lead in the first six and a half minutes. Then the bearcats answered with a 24-7 run of their own that encompassed the remainder of the first half, and left Lander leading at half-time 31-26.
UDC shot a better percentage from the field (34.5%) and from the free-throw line (62.5%) than Lander (32.4% and 44.4% respectively) in the first half, but the Bearcats hit two more three-pointers than the firebirds and outscored UDC 18-9 off turnovers.
In the second half UDC came back to take the lead by one on a lay-up by McGill with 13:34 remaining, but that was the last lead the Firebirds would enjoy as Lander tallied 11 straight points to take a 10-point lead it would not relinquish.
For the game UDC out-rebounded Lander 54-41, but the Firebirds committed 26 turnovers compared to only 15 for the Bearcats. Each team had 14 assists, and the Firebirds enjoyed a 15-3 advantage in second-chance points, while the Bearcats led in fast-break points 16-8.
The leading scorer for Lander was junior guard Mukia Myrick who had 12 points and 3 rebounds. Of the 10 players who logged minutes for the Bearcats, 9 scored. Junior guard Jasmine Judge was named to the all-tournament team, and senior center Shannon McKever was named tournament MVP. For the Firebirds McGill and freshman forward Dohnay Banice (Business Administration – Wilmington, DE) were named to the all-tournament team. The other honorees were Audrey Cunningham from New Haven and Kyria Buford from Shaw.
The Firebirds return to action after the Christmas holiday on Thursday, December 30, at 12:00pm against Harding at the West Florida Classic. Their next home game is January 3.