Thursday, February 14, 2013

16-0 Run Rallies UDC Past LIU Post

Brandon Ennis' late FT clinches UDC's 4th win

The University Sports Complex was jumpin' last night as the UDC Firebirds rallied to defeat ECC rival LIU Post 83-79 behind a standout effort from junior Ralph Watts (career-high 23 points) and a furious 16-0 run in the second half. The win, UDC's second straight at home, improved the Firebirds' record to (4-18, 3-11 ECC.)

This season has been no picnic for head coach Jeff Ruland and his team; but you have to admire their heart and competitiveness of late. After going in at halftime up 39-36, UDC allowed the Pioneers to shoot at will from the perimeter (LIU hit 8 of 14 3's in the 2nd half) eventually falling behind 74-64 with 5:52 left in the game. That's when things started to get interesting.

Junior guard Michael Terry scored six points in less than a minute; and suddenly UDC was down only four. Watts hit his fifth trey (he shot an incredible 5-6 from beyond the arc) with 2:24 remaining to put the Firebirds ahead 77-74; and from there, UDC's shutdown defense did the rest. In addition to Watts' 23, Terry scored 19 and point guard extraordinaire Quasim Jones added 17. Jones and Terry also had 5 assists each. Tobin Carberry led LIU Post with 16; and junior Vaughn Allen (7 points) became the 21st player in his school's history to score 1,000 points.

Head coach Jeff Ruland spurs Firebirds late run

UDC shot an impressive 51.7% from the field and a whopping 44% from 3-pt. distance. On defense, the Firebirds forced 15 turnovers (9 in the first half) but gave up 13 threes (56.5%) and were out-rebounded 37-29. I can't recall a more exciting game all season. UDC looks to make it three straight at home this Saturday, as they host Dowling (9-12, 6-7) at 3:00 PM in the ECC Doubleheader of the Week/Hall of Fame Game. The Golden Lions had their way with UDC last month 83-67; but I'm predicting a big dose of payback this weekend.

Click here for last night's box score.