January 11, 2012

GAME NOTES: University of the District of Columbia Women’s Basketball vs. NYIT

WASHINGTON, DC  –  The University of the District of Columbia women's basketball team will host East Coast Conference foe NYIT on Wednesday, Jan 11 at 5:30 p.m. at UDC Gym. There will be a live video webcast of the game with play-by-play announcing by Eli Pearlstein via www.udcfirebirds.com.

The Firebirds (10-3, 1-2 ECC) are looking to shake off a heartbreaking, 55-54 loss at then No. 25-ranked Dowling and even their conference record at 2-2. UDC, playing without its leading scorer and the third-ranked scorer in the ECC, Jamilia Bonner (Mobile, AL – Williamson HS), was still just six seconds away from an upset victory on the road when an inopportune Firebird foul sent the best free-throw shooter in the conference, Connie Simmons, to the line to shoot two. Simmons sank both shots and Dowling escaped with a slim, one-point victory.

Things do not get much easier for UDC in its inaugural season with the East Coast Conference as the Firebirds host NYIT, who is tied with Dowling atop the league standings at 3-0. The Bears are 9-4 overall and have won seven of their last eight games, including their last five. They are led by Cierra Baker, who is third in the league in scoring (18.1 ppg) and tops in rebounding (10.1 rpg).

With a struggling or injured Bonner (who averages a Division II 29th best 18.2 ppg), Lauren Brittingham (Washington, DC – Potomac HS) has stepped up big of late coming off the bench. In the last four games she has averaged 15.3 points, 5.0 rebounds and 3.0 assists. Her three-point shooting has been particularly impressive as she has made 12 of her 24 attempts (50-percent).

Meanwhile, Jasmine Rich (Willingboro, NJ – Willingboro HS), the Firebirds' point guard, is ranked No. 21 in the nation in assists per-game with a 5.0 average. She is also 38th in Division II for assist-to-turnover ratio (1.76) and will be counted on to take care of the ball against an NYIT defense ranked 11th in the country for steals per-game (13.8).

Ball control and passing efficiency could play a big factor in this game as UDC forces 14.0 steals per-game and is ranked two spots higher than the Bears at No. 9.