Depleted Firebirds Can’t Keep Pace with Redhawks in 83-70 Loss at Roberts Wesleyan

Oliver registered 23 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists.
Oliver registered 23 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists.

ROCHESTER, NY – The University of the District of Columbia women's basketball team was defeated, 83-70 by host Roberts Wesleyan College in East Coast Conference action at the Voller Athletic Center Wednesday night.

UDC senior guard Shantrel Oliver scored 18 of her team-high 23 points in the first half, and the Firebirds and Redhawks were actually tied, 33-all at intermission. UDC led by as many five on two separate occasions in the first half: first, an 8-3 lead in the first quarter, and then a 30-25 advantage with 3:37 left in the 2nd quarter.

At the start of the 3rd quarter, freshman guard Bianca White (10 pts, four assists, two steals) broke her silence after a scoreless first half by burying a three-pointer to give UDC a 36-33 lead, but it was all Roberts Wesleyan for the remainder of the 3rd quarter. A transformative 17-2 Redhawks surge, which included five three-pointers by RWC's Lucy Covley, catapulted Roberts in front, 50-38 with about two minutes left in the period. The Redhawks would take a 55-42 lead into the final quarter.

The hosts opened the 4th quarter on a 10-2 run and extended their lead to 65-44 at around the six-and-a-half minute mark. Their lead ballooned at 29, 81-52 at the 3:20 mark, but the Firebirds continued to play hard and closed the gap to 13 via an 18-2 surge to end the game.

Tonight was Oliver's 3rd game this season with over 20 points, as well as her first career double-double as she hauled in a career-high 10 rebounds. She was very close to a triple-double as she also handed out a career-high eight assists. Freshmen guards Tyra Coombs and Bailee White each added 11 points as well, and senior center Jaslynn Rollins contributed seven points, 10 rebounds and a game-high two blocked shots.

Roberts Wesleyan also put four scorers in double-figures, including a game-high 28 points by Covley, who shot 10-of-19 from the field and 8-of-17 from long range. Over half the shots taken by both teams were three-pointers, with the Redhawks combining to shoot 16-of-41 (39-percent) from behind-the-arc, and UDC making 12-of-31 (38.7-percent).

UDC out-shot RWC 43-percent to 39-percent from the field, but were limited to 14 less shot attempts (70-56) as a result of double the number of turnovers (16-8) by the Redhawks. The home team also had 19 points off of turnovers to UDC's nine, and, with eight substitutes to UDC's one, RWC's bench outscored UDC's 20-11.

Next up, UDC visits ECC foe St. Thomas Aquinas on Saturday, February 4th.