SPARKILL, NY – The University of the District of Columbia women's basketball team out-scored host St. Thomas Aquinas, 18-17 in the 3rd quarter and 13-10 in the 4th quarter, but could not overcome a 20-point halftime deficit, as the Firebirds were defeated by the Spartans, 63-47 in East Coast Conference play at Aquinas Hall Saturday afternoon.
Three freshmen guards led UDC offensively, as Bianca White recorded her 10th double-figure scoring game this season with 13 points, and Tyra Coombs and Kaylah Cooper added 10 points apiece. Senior guard Shantrel Oliver added six points to go with eight rebounds and a team-best three assists. Defensively, senior center Jaslynn Rollins registered game-highs of nine rebounds and two blocked shots, and Coombs had a game-high three steals.
The Spartans (16-7, 10-4 ECC) won their third straight game courtesy of three double-figure scorers, including a game-high 15 points by reserve guard Alex Bertolino. Forward Kaitlyn McCue was 6-of-9 from the field and finished with 13 points and six rebounds, and guard Jenna Erickson had an impressive all-around day with 10 points, five rebounds, four assists and three steals.
Cooper scored half of her points for the day in the opening four minutes of the game, helping UDC take three different leads in the first quarter, including a 9-7 advantage after a jump-shot by Oliver at the 4:33 mark. That would be the Firebirds' last lead of the day, however, as STAC closed out the opening quarter on a 12-4 surge that concluded with back-to-back three-pointers by Bertolino. The Spartans led 19-13 at quarter's end.
STAC's momentum would continue into the 2nd quarter as the Spartans marched to a 15-0 run over the first seven minutes of play. UDC was held without a field goal in the quarter as the Firebirds were a combined 0-for-13 from the field and managed only three points on 3-of-4 free-throw shooting. The Spartans led 36-16 at halftime.
In the 3rd quarter, STAC out-scored UDC 7-4 through the first three-and-a-half minutes of play and took its largest lead of the afternoon, 43-20 with 6:46 remaining. Still a 23-point game as the clock ticked under six minutes in that 3rd quarter, Bianca and sister Bailee White each knocked down a three-pointer in a span of less than two minutes, and UDC would out-score STAC 12-8 the rest of the period to pull within 19.
Bianca White would go on to bury back-to-back three-pointers and later make a jumper during a 13-6 run over the first seven-and-a-half minutes of the 4th quarter, and UDC would pull within 12, 59-47, with 2:27 remaining. STAC, however, would close the game out on a 4-0 run and win by a 16-point margin.
Next up for the Firebirds (2-21, 1-12 ECC), a home ECC contest vs. NYIT on Saturday, February 11th at 1 p.m.