Rockville Centre, NY- The University of the District of Columbia men's basketball team brought the heat in what turned out to be a very intense match up game against Molloy College, Wednesday night.
First Half: The Firebirds came out blazing, leading the Lions 6-2, two minutes into the game. The Lions went on to lead the Firebirds by 10 points halfway through but great defense by the Firebirds led to a four-minute shooting drought for the Lions. This allowed the Firebirds to not only catch up but also lead the Lions 34-33 with less than three minutes left of the half. A 3-pt jump shot by Molly's Nick Corbett followed by a layup by junior Consolo Adams would even out the scoreboard 36-36. A free throw made by Molloy's Curtis Jenkins would secure the Lions the lead over the firebirds 37-36, going into half time.
Second Half: The scoreboard was at a standstill in the first few minutes as shots were missed by both teams. A 3-pt jump shot made by senior Kevin Cox was the start of the domino effect that would bring the firebirds to lead the Lions 45-37, within the next two minutes! The Lions were left to play catch up, but would then start a domino effect of their own, which eventually led to a tied score of 50-50, with a little less than nine minutes to go on the clock. The firebirds would then go back and forth with the Lions, with no more than a four-point lead by either times. Two made free throws by Molloy's Mike Torre with only 4 seconds left on the clock would seal the firebirds fate, as Freshman Juanye Colon's 3-pt jump shot at the buzzer was not enough to defeat the Lions. Final score 61-60.
Cox led the firebirds with 12 points and seven rebounds followed by junior Zachary Olukanni and Colon who both brought in 11 points respectively. Senior Quadire Truesdale led the court with five steals and led the firebirds with four assists.
The firebirds ended their season with a record of 15-14 overall and 8-10 in conference play.
Head Coach Mike Riley's thoughts on the season: "Our season was a collection of peaks and valleys: we lost our first two games and won the next five games. Later in the year, we would lose four conference games in a row and win the next four conference games. We played in 13 games that were decided by six points or less, these games leave little room for error by either team. Our games generally were very competitive and I am extremely proud of how our student athletes conducted themselves in tough competition. Our seniors Quadire Truesdale, Kevin Cox and Danny Shand gave us quality leadership that I was able to lean on all year. We wish them the best as they prepare to graduate."
Congratulations to the Firebirds on a great season!