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Turnovers, Free-Throw Shooting Plague Firebirds in Loss at Roberts Wesleyan

Roy scored 17 points while shooting 4-of-7 behind-the-arc and dishing out a game-high three assists.
Roy scored 17 points while shooting 4-of-7 behind-the-arc and dishing out a game-high three assists.

ROCHESTER, NY – The University of the District of Columbia women's basketball team was defeated by Roberts Wesleyan College, 82-62 in East Coast Conference action Friday night at the Voller Athletic Center.

The Firebirds (2-7, 0-2 ECC) were led offensively by guards Daeja Quick and Natasha Roy, who scored 19 and 17 points, respectively. Quick, the reigning ECC Rookie of the Week, also had five rebounds, two assists and two steals, and Roy came off the bench to make 4-of-7 from long range and tie for the game-high of three assists. Freshman forward Dana Harrington led the team with seven rebounds, blocked one shot and also contributed five points.

The Redhawks (5-3, 1-1 ECC), who have now won four of their last five games, were powered by forward Emily Miller's double-double effort which included game-highs of 23 points and 10 rebounds. She was aided by the outside shooting of guard Sara Nady, who shot 8-of-15 from the field, including 6-of-10 from behind-the-arc to finish with 22 points. Nady also contributed seven rebounds, three assists and three steals.

UDC out-shot RWC by a slim, 39-percent to 37-percent margin from the field, and a larger 47-percent to 38-percent margin from three-point range. Rebounding was also pretty even, but 37-36 in favor of the Redhawks. The disparity in turnovers - 22 for the Firebirds (including eight in the first quarter), and 11 for Roberts Wesleyan - proved costly for UDC, as the Redhawks cashed in for 28 points off of turnovers compared to 15 by UDC. The hosts also out-shot the Firebirds, 82-percent (27-of-33) to 65-percent (13-of-20) at the foul line.

The Firebirds turned the ball over on five of their first six possessions, including their first three, and missed their first three field goal attempts to start the game, as the Redhawks quickly soared to a 12-0 lead within the first three minutes of play. UDC got on the board with a Harrington layup just over three minutes into the game, and the freshman forward would add another layup later at the 2:50 mark. The Firebirds would finish the first quarter trailing, 21-13.

UDC came out with a vengeance to start the 2nd quarter, as Quick led the Firebirds on an 11-2 march in just under two minutes. The 4th leading scorer in the ECC coming into tonight's game, Quick started the run with a layup only four seconds into the half, and then following a three-pointer by Roy, buried back-to-back three-pointers at 9:09 and 8:20. The 2nd of those Quick three-pointers gave UDC its first and only lead of the game, 24-23.

At that point, however, Roberts Wesleyan's Lucy Covley knocked down a three-pointer just past the seven-minute mark that would put the Redhawks ahead to stay, 26-24. Covley's three ignited a 17-3 response by RWC, culminating in a three-pointer by Nady to make it 40-27 just past the three-minute mark. Still, UDC battled back to score the game's next seven points and cut the deficit to six with just under a minute to play. The Firebirds even had two opportunities to shrink the Redhawks' lead further, but committed their 14th turnover of the first half on the first try and missed a layup on the 2nd try. Following the missed layup, RWC's Necedah James sprinted down the court, spotted up at the elbow and nailed a jumper right at the buzzer to give the Redhawks an eight-point halftime cushion.

The Firebirds would again make things interesting in the 3rd quarter when, trailing 47-38 around the 7:30 mark, Roy drained back-to-back three-pointers to bring UDC within three, 47-44. That was as close as UDC would get the rest of the night, however, as Roberts Wesleyan answered by scoring the game's next six points and out-scoring the Firebirds, 16-8 the remainder of the period. The Redhawks' lead was 63-52 heading into the final quarter.

Nady would take over in the 4th quarter, beginning and finishing an 11-2 surge by the hosts to start the quarter which would effectively put the game away. She kicked things off with a layup 20 seconds in, and finished it off with back-to-back three-pointers at 6:52 and 6:22, giving RWC a commanding, 74-54 lead. The Redhawks would go on to win by that same 20-point margin, 82-62.

Next up, UDC will visit California (PA) on Sunday, December 17th at 1 p.m.