WASHINGTON, DC – The University of the District of Columbia men's basketball team defeated the East Coast Conference preseason favorites University of Bridgeport with defense and strong long range shooting Wednesday night at UDC Gym.
All five starters for the Firebirds finished the game in the double figures in scoring. Junior guard Zachary Olukanni led Firebirds offense by tying his season high of 26 points and grabbing 12 rebounds for his first double-double of the season. The Firebirds as a team were 42 percent from the field and shot a better 44 percent from behind the three point line. The purple Knights were 41 percent from the field and 21 percent from behind the three point line. Both teams got to the free throw line often with a total of 62 combined free throw attempts in the game..
Senior guard Kevin Cox got his fourth double-double of the season scoring 12 points and grabbing 10 rebounds. This win snaps a 4 game losing streak and allowed the Firebirds to improve their home record to 7-3. In the first half both senior guard Quadire Truesdale and junior forward Aaren Smith scored eight points to help the Firebirds out to a 40-33 lead before halftime. They would finish the game with 12 and 13 points respectively. In the second half junior guard Kerry Kirkwood stepped up to score 11 of his 17 points, including a number of clutch threes to keep the firebirds ahead until the end resulting in a 91-81 victory for the Firebirds. The Purple Knights were led by Eric Rankin, who scored 19 points on 7-of-9 shooting and grabbed six rebounds. The Firebirds outrebounded the Purple Knights 42-40 and shared the ball more with a 19-12 advantage in assists.
The Firebirds will travel on the road to Dobbs Ferry, NY to take on Mercy College on Saturday, February 2nd. Tip-off is at 3 p.m.