Saturday, January 4, 2014

Men's Basketball: UDC 91 Apprentice School 72

Omar Abbas (#4) led UDC with a career-high 29 points

From our friends at UDC Athletics...

Three-Point Shooting Barrage Helps Firebirds Soar Past Builders, 91-72

The Firebirds made a season-high 13 three-pointers while shooting a scorching-hot 65-percent from behind-the-arc  en-route to their third victory of the season, a convincing, 91-72 triumph over The Apprentice School on Saturday afternoon in the nation's capital.

Sophomore Omar Abbas (Electrical Engineering – Alexandria, Egypt/Egyptian American HS) scored a career and game-high 29 points on 10-of-13 shooting from the field, 6-of-8 from long-range and 3-of-3 from the free-throw line. He also added six rebounds, three assists and three steals. His fellow backcourt mates were also lethal from long range today as freshman Reggie Sidbury (Social Work – Landover, MD/Charles Herbert Flowers HS) made 5-of-5 from three-point range and finished with 17 points, and freshman walk-on Kevin Campbell (Biology – Washington, DC/Woodrow Wilson HS) shot 2-of-3 from long range and finished with eight points. Junior transfer forward Lenjo Kilo (Biology – Silver Spring, MD/Seton Hill), the 2nd leading scorer and 4th leading rebounder in the East Coast Conference, also added 20 points and seven rebounds. UDC improved to 3-7 overall with today's win.

Freshman Reggie Sidbury (#21) added 17 points

The Builders (8-6), who are ranked No. 7 in the United States Collegiate Athletic Association Division I Coaches' Poll, had a very balanced offensive attack with nine different players entering the scoring column, led by Jay Melendez (14 points, five rebounds, five steals) and Jamal Curry (13 points, 12 rebounds).

The two teams combined to make four three-pointers in just the first two-and-a-half minutes of play, with Sidbury connecting on his first two shots of the game to keep UDC in the game, 8-6 early on. The Builders would outscore the Firebirds 13-7 over the next six minutes though and take a 21-13 lead following a three-pointer by Lance Darden.

Lenjo Kilo (#10) scored 20 points with 7 rebounds

Following a 1-of-2 trip at the foul line by Kilo to make it 21-14 at the 11:14 mark, the Firebirds' three-point shooting assault began with Abbas making two three-pointers and Sidbury and Campbell each knocking down one of their own. Campbell's three-pointer at the eight-minute mark capped a 13-2 run and catapulted the Firebirds in front (26-23), where they would remain for the rest of the game. A three-pointer by Melendez at the 3:29 mark moved The Apprentice School within two (34-32), but that was as close as the Builders would get the rest of the way as Campbell buried his second three-pointer of the game to jump-start an 8-0 Firebirds surge. UDC would take a 44-37 lead into halftime thanks to a jumper at the buzzer by junior forward Tim Frazier (Math Education – Washington, DC/Friendship Collegiate Academy).

Still a seven-point game nearly a minute-and-a-half into the second half, Abbas and Sidbury each knocked down a pair of three-pointers  to highlight what amounted to a 26-6 run over a six-minute period and helped UDC put the game out of reach, 74-47 with 12:33 remaining. The Builders never got any closer than 16 points the rest of the way, as UDC won by a decisive, 19-point margin, 91-72.

Prince Ritson (#1) grabbed 8 rebounds

The Firebirds shot a red-hot 54-percent (30-of-56) from the field and an even better, 65-percent (13-of-20) from long range while holding The Apprentice School to 36-percent FG shooting (26-of-73) and 23-percent three-point FG shooting (5-of-22). UDC also made out better at the free-throw line, connecting on 18-of-23 (78-percent) compared to the Builders' 15-of-25 (60-percent).

UDC also won the rebounding battle, 44-37, but did allow 17 offensive rebounds by the Builders, who capitalized with 36 points in the paint and 14 second-chance points. The Apprentice School also utilized its deep bench as its eight reserves outscored UDC's two reserves by a margin of 33-10.

Head Coach Mike Riley talks strategy

The Firebirds seek their first back-to-back wins of the season as they visit East Coast Conference foe Roberts Wesleyan on Friday, January 10th.

Click here for today's box score.