Saturday, December 20, 2014

Women's Basketball: UDC 82 Roberts Wesleyan 70

Denikka Brent led all scorers with 25 points

From our friends at UDC Athletics...

Firebirds Soar Past Redhawks with Strong Second Half Performance

The Firebirds used a 14-5 surge late in the second half to push past Roberts Wesleyan for an 82-70 victory in a back-and-forth East Coast Conference battle Friday night in the nation's capital.

UDC, ranked No. 7 in the Week 5 D2SIDA East Region Poll, improved to 9-2 overall and 2-1 in league play as the Firebirds won their third straight and sixth of their last seven games. The Redhawks fell to 5-3 overall and 1-2 in league play with tonight's loss. The Firebirds improved to 3-2 vs. RWC in the all-time series.

Telisha Turner added 5 assists & 3 steals

Senior forward Denikka Brent (Mechanical Engineering - Chesapeake, VA/Booker T. Washington) led all scorers with 25 points on 10-of-18 FG shooting while also registering five rebounds, five assists, four steals and one blocked shot. Meanwhile, senior guard ShaKena Williams (Accounting - Washington, DC/Frederick CC) scored 15 of her season-high 18 points in the second half while shooting 5-of-6 from the field and 3-of-4 from three-point range to key the UDC victory.

ShaKena Williams scored a season-high 18 PTS

Roberts Wesleyan featured four scorers in double-figures, including guard Lucy Covley with a team-high 17 points on 6-of-10 FG shooting (5-of-9 from three-point range). Forward Marissa Sell had a double-double of 16 points and game-highs of 10 rebounds and six assists, but also turned the ball over a game-high seven times.


Turnovers were the Redhawks' undoing, as UDC cashed in for 39 points off of 29 RWC miscues thanks in large part to a suffocating full-court press. Otherwise, Roberts Wesleyan had the advantage in field goal shooting (54-percent to 49-percent), three-point shooting (50-percent to 30-percent) and rebounds (37-25).

Tatyana Calhoun (#32) shot a perfect 3-3 with 2 steals

The first eight minutes of regulation featured two lead changes and four ties, but RWC began to pull away, already with a 24-20 lead approaching six minutes, when the Redhawks went on a 10-4 run to take their largest lead of the game, 34-24 with 3:35 left in the first half. At that point, Brent and senior guard Telisha Turner (Criminal Justice - Wilmington, DE/Harcum) scored five points apiece during a 10-0 response by UDC to knot the score at 34-all with 22 seconds remaining before halftime. On the ensuing possession, Christina Healy grabbed a loose-ball offensive rebound following a Covley three-point miss, and put in an easy layup at the buzzer to send the Redhawks to intermission with a narrow, 36-34 lead.

Shantrel Oliver's unique (but effective) follow-through

The Firebirds opened the first half on a 4-0 run thanks to consecutive baskets by junior guard Tajruba Baldwin-Kollore (Criminal Justice - Newport News, VA/Denbigh HS) and Brent as UDC quickly took a lead of its own, 38-36, less than two minutes in. The Redhawks evened the score three times (38, 40 and 45) courtesy of buckets or free-throws by Sell, and they would eventually take back the lead, 48-47 on a layup by Samantha Courtney at the 12:09 mark.

Taj Baldwin-Kollore (#23) scored 10 points

At that point, junior guard Shantrel Oliver (Criminal Justice - Columbia, MD/Chesapeake College) buried a three-pointer to kick-start what amounted to a 14-5 Firebirds run over the next four minutes. Williams added a three-pointer and Brent scored four points as well during this game-altering run that propelled UDC from down one to up eight (61-53) with 8:24 left to play.

The Firebirds still led 65-57 with less than six minutes to play when Covely made one of her game-high five three-pointers to cut the lead to five, 65-60 at the 5:19 mark. Consecutive layups by junior forward Tatyana Calhoun (Architecture - Disputanta, VA/Sussex Central HS) and Turner helped end that threat, and extend UDC's lead to nine, 69-60. Roberts Wesleyan never threatened again, as UDC coasted to a 12-point victory.

UDC will break for the winter holidays, but will return to action on January 3rd to host league foe Daemen College in search of its 4th straight win. Tip-off is at 3 p.m.

Click here for last night's box score.