Sunday, December 14, 2014

Men's Basketball: UDC 94 LIU Post 91

Kory Cooley (#20) led all scorers with 26 points

From our friends at UDC Athletics...

Abbas’ Clutch Three-Pointer Sends Firebirds to Thrilling 94-91 Victory Over LIU Post

A three-pointer deep in the corner by reserve three-point shooting specialist Omar Abbas in the final seconds of regulation sent the Firebirds to a thrilling, 94-91 victory over East Coast Conference foe LIU Post in a wild, Saturday afternoon at UDC Sports Complex.

Abbas, who had not come off the bench until with 16 seconds remaining in regulation, received a bounce pass from senior point guard Quasim Jones, and fired, in-rhythm, from the corner, hitting nothing but net to lift UDC to its second straight victory. The Firebirds (2-8), after starting the season 0-8, are now 2-0 in ECC play. The Pioneers, meanwhile, fell to 3-6 overall and 0-3 in league play.

Quasim Jones (#11) 17 PTS, 8 dimes & 3 steals

UDC was led by a trio of guards. Freshman Kory Cooley (Art - Silver Spring, MD/Calvin Coolidge HS) once again led the team in scoring with 26 points on 8-of-15 FG shooting (4-of-6 from three-point range), senior Michael Terry (Criminal Justice - Philadelphia, PA/Boston U) shot 6-of-11 from the field and a perfect 8-of-8 from the free-throw line to finish with 23 points while also hauling in a team-high seven rebounds, and Jones registered 17 points, eight assists and three steals.

Michael Terry (#15) added 23 points with 7 rebounds

Meanwhile, the Pioneers held a 41-29 rebounding advantage thanks in large part to guard/forward PJ Torres (14 points, eight rebounds) and forward Greg Dotson (nine points, eight rebounds). Tyuan Williams added 14 points and five rebounds as well, while guard Akosa Maduegbunam made 4-of-7 from long range and tied for the team scoring-high with 14 points as well.

Erin Senegal breaks away for 2 of his 8 points

Cooley and Terry each canned three-pointers and freshman forward Andre Williams (Business Management - Maybrook, NY/Valley Central HS) threw down an emphatic dunk to lead UDC to a 12-7 early lead. LIU Post answered though, with a 9-2 run, culminating in a Torres layup to pull in front, 16-14 at the 13:26 mark.

Clenso Brannon III connected on 3-4 shots

With the score knotted at 19, the Firebirds began to pull away with a 17-5 run that included four consecutive three-pointers by four different UDC players: Terry, Jones, Cooley and sophomore Reggie Sidbury (Social Work - Landover, MD/Charles Herbert Flowers HS). Jones' layup capped the run and gave UDC a 36-24 lead with 6:32 to play in the first half.

Still a nine-point game with under five minutes to play, the Firebirds used a 10-2 surge to take their largest lead of the afternoon, 49-32. Having shot 49-percent from the field and 50-percent (10-of-20) from three-point range, they would take a 15-point lead into halftime, 55-40.

The two teams traded baskets to start the second half, but UDC maintained a 19-point lead (65-46) with a little over three minutes gone by. That, however, is when the Pioneers went on a 32-5 crusade over the next 10 minutes as the Firebirds went ice-cold from the field and LIU Post shot a blistering 50-percent from the field in the closing period. The Pioneers claimed a78-70 lead with 6:36 remaining in regulation.

Somehow, after surrendering 32 of the game's last 37 points, Jones sparked a comeback as he scored eight of UDC's next 10 points during a 10-2 run to force an 80-all tie. Two more ties followed, by Jones' layup at the 2:33 mark put the Firebirds ahead to stay, 84-82.

Although UDC shot a perfect 5-of-5 from the free-throw line down the stretch, the Pioneers managed to force a 91-all tie courtesy of a Maduegbunam three-pointer and back-to-back layups by Charles McCann and Williams. The Williams layup followed a turnover on an inbounds pass, and tied the score at 91 with 16 seconds remaining.

Following a UDC timeout, a perfectly designed and executed play led to the late-game heroics of junior reserve guard Omar Abbas, as UDC took a 94-91 lead with four seconds remaining. Torres' three-point shot near the buzzer rimmed out, and LIU Post could not secure a rebound before time expired.

The Firebirds are off for six days before they host ECC foe Roberts Wesleyan on Friday, December 19th at 5 p.m.

Click here for yesterday's box score.