Saturday, February 16, 2013

UDC Tops Dowling in 86-84 Thriller

UDC's Florent Pontens (r) looks for Ralph Watts

Better late than never. The UDC men's basketball team is on fire, winning their third game in four tries earlier this afternoon... an 86-84 thriller over Dowling. For the first time all season, the University Sports Complex was alive with enthusiasm as the home team scored six straight points in the final 33 seconds to sneak out a win. Believe it or not, the Firebirds (5-18, 4-11) still have a chance to catch Dowling for the sixth and final spot in the ECC playoffs (with three games to go.)

While there's still hope for this season, I can't help but feel excited about 2013-14. That's when Quasim Jones, Michael Terry and Ralph Watts return for their senior campaigns. The trio combined for 52 points, 20 rebounds and six three-pointers today, maintaining remarkable composure in perhaps the Firebirds's most competitive contest of the season. Terry and Watts scored 19 points each to lead UDC; and Watts came up with a huge steal and three-point play in the final 30 seconds to put UDC ahead for good. Soph big Florent Pontens preserved the win with a last-second blocked shot. After the game, I was exchanging high fives with fellow Firebirds' fans... Now that's what I like to experience at a UDC basketball game.

UDC Hall of Fame inductees honored at halftime

At halftime, UDC recognized three of its second annual Athletic Hall of Fame inductees, Hiram "Dutch" Usilaner (pictured left, above) Stanley Mullins (center) and Harry Brockenberry ('75.) UDC hosted a reception, dinner and induction ceremony in their honor at Maggiano's Little Italy last night. To learn more, click here.

UDC has two road games next week against Queens and Molloy, before returning home for Senior Day and a rematch with Mercy on Saturday, March 2nd at 1:00 PM. I hope you'll join me in cheering on the Firebirds one last time, before next season's championship run (You read it here first.)

Click here for today's box score.