Sunday, February 2, 2014

Women's Basketball: UDC 75 St. Thomas Aquinas 70

Telisha Turner led UDC with 22 points

From our friends at UDC Athletics...

Firebirds Push Past STAC, 75-70; Turner Surpasses 1,000 Career Points

Telisha Turner surpassed 1,000 points for her career as she scored 22 to lead the University of the District of Columbia women's basketball team to its sixth straight victory, 75-70 over St. Thomas Aquinas in East Coast Conference play Saturday in the nation's capital.

Turner (Criminal Justice – Wilmington, DE/Harcum) scored 707 points in two seasons at Harcum in the National Junior College Athletic Association and had 282 points this season for UDC coming into today's game. Needing 11 points to reach 1,000, she eclipsed the mark with a three-pointer at the 4:18 mark in the first half. She is the 4th 1,000-point scorer to play at UDC under head coach Lester Butler, Jr.

Denikka Brent (#11) had 12 points, 9 rebounds and 5 steals

The Firebirds improved to 14-3 overall and 10-1 in ECC play as they completed the season sweep of the Spartans today. STAC has now lost six of its last seven and fell to 8-9 overall and 4-8 in league play.

Turner had five points in the first 5:25 of action to help UDC grab en early 11-7 lead, but STAC's Kristen Olsen connected on each of her first three three-point attempts to help the Spartans keep pace, and following a layup by Briana Cook, STAC was in front 14-13 near the 13-minute mark. A three-pointer by guard Alyson Brennan at the 8-minute mark put the Spartans in front, 22-19, but junior ShaKena Williams (Accounting – Washington, DC/Frederick CC) answered for UDC with a three-pointer of her own, which sparked a 15-2 Firebirds surge culminating in Turner's three-pointer to surpass 1,000 and give UDC a 34-24 lead. The Firebirds went on to take their largest lead of the half (44-33) into intermission courtesy of a buzzer-beating jumper by sophomore guard Tajruba Baldwin-Kollore (Public Health – Newport News, VA/Denbigh HS).

ShaKena Williams scored 5 points with 3 rebounds in the 1st half

St. Thomas Aquinas out-scored UDC 9-4 in the first 6:15 of play to start the second half, closing the gap to six (48-42) on a layup by Cook at the 13:44 mark. But UDC answered with a 15-5 run, highlighted by a three-pointer each from reserve guards Julissa Anderson (Criminal Justice – Greensboro, NC/Southeast Guilford HS) and Shantrel Oliver (History – Columbia, MD/River Hill HS), and took the largest lead of the night by either team, 63-47 with 8:11 left to play in regulation.

But back came the Spartans, with Olsen once again the catalyst knocking down a pair of three-pointers, STAC used a 16-6 run over the next eight minutes to close within six, 69-63. A layup by Turner and later a 1-of-2 trip at the free-throw line bolstered the lead back up to nine at the two-minute mark, and STAC could never get any closer than five the rest of the way. UDC held on for a 75-70 victory.

Shantrel Oliver came off the bench to score 9 points

Turner's support cast consisted of significant contributions from many, particularly junior forward Denikka Brent (Mechanical Engineering – Chesapeake, VA/Booker T. Washington HS), sophomore forward Tatyana Calhoun (Environmental Science – Disputanta, VA/Sussex Central HS) and Oliver. Brent was one rebound shy of a double-double with 12 points and nine rebounds along with a game-high five steals, Calhoun contributed eight points ( 4-of-5 FG shooting) and six rebounds, and Oliver added nine points on 2-of-3 from three-point range and 3-of-5 FT shooting.

STAC's Kristen Olsen led all scorers with 23 points on 7-of-12 shooting from long range. Backcourt mate Briana Cook added 16 points and a team-high four steals, and Alyson Brennan registered 12 points and a game-high tying nine rebounds.

Diamonique Carr (#23) fends off STAC double-team

The two teams were very even in field goal shooting (STAC 50-percent, UDC 49-percent), but STAC had the upper-hand in three-point shooting, making 8-of-15 (53-percent) to UDC's 8-of-19 (42-percent). The Firebirds, however, made up for the three-point shooting disparity by nearly doubling up the Spartans in offensive rebounds (13-7) and out-scoring their guests 16-5 in second-chance opportunities and 30-26 in the paint.

UDC will look to remain atop the ECC standings as they visit 2nd place LIU Post on Thursday, February 6th at 5 p.m.

Click here for yesterday's box score.