Lincoln University, PA: November 15, 2009- The University of the District of Columbia Firebirds Women's Basketball Team, lost its opening game of the season, in a hard fought contest, 84-80, to the Livingstone College Bears during the James A. Richardson Women's Basketball Tournament at Lincoln University this afternoon. The surprise loss came as a result of a high turnover rate for the Firebirds, which enabled the Bears to capitalize and score 38 points to UDC's 16 on turnovers.
Livingstone guard Kayler McBride paced the Bears to the win scoring a game-high 24 points while collecting 2 rebounds. McBride opened the game with a 3-point shot, which proved to be an omen for what was to follow.
Montiya Harrison added 15 points and 4 rebounds to the win, with guard Khalia Boston following with 9 points and 5 rebounds. Forward Cassaundra Rhodes added 8 points and 7 rebounds.
Junior forward Lillian McGill (Sumter, SC) led the Firebird scoring, posting her first double double of the season with 23 points and 12 rebounds. Nicole Cooper (Fort Washington, MD) followed with 16 points, 5 rebounds and 1 assist, while freshman guard Ty Abilla (Galloway, NJ) added 12 points, 4 rebounds and 3 assists.
The Firebirds led 42-40 at the break on 46 (12-26)percent shooting, but dropped off to 38(15-40) percent in the second half. UDC maintained the advantage until the 15:12 mark of the second half when Harrison made a layup to give the Bears a 51-50 lead, then stretched that to as much as 10 points, and they went on to win by 4. The Bears took the game on 44 percent (30-67) shooting to the Firebird's 41 percent (27-66).
The Firebirds made 59 (23-39) percent of their free throws, compared to Livingstone's 53 percent (16-30). Points from beyond the arc contributed heavily to the Bears win as they connected with 47 (8-17) of their three-point shots compared with UDC's 17 (3-17) percent.
UDC Head Women's Basketball Coach Lester L. Butler, Jr., attributed the loss to several factors, including the fact that his backup point guard freshman Marketa Salley(Capitol Heights, MD) did not play due to chest pains suffered before the team departed Washington. He said, " in addition to the loss of Marketa, we did not defend well and did not shoot well from the charity stripe."
UDC returns to the court on Monday, November 16, in the final round of the Tournament, taking on the host Lincoln University at 7 p.m.