Saturday, January 17, 2015

Men's Basketball: UDC 104 Dowling 86

Omar Abbas led UDC with a season-high 26 points

From our friends at UDC Athletics...

Firebirds Erupt for Season-High Scoring Mark in 104-86 Win vs. Dowling

The University of the District of Columbia men's basketball team snapped its five-game losing streak in emphatic fashion as the Firebirds erupted for a season-high scoring mark to defeat East Coast Conference foe Dowling, 104-86 on Saturday afternoon at the UDC Sports Complex.

The Firebirds (3-13, 3-5 ECC) got contributions across the board from nearly the entire lineup, including two players scoring over 20 points and two registering double-doubles. Junior shooting guard Omar Abbas (Electrical Engineering - Alexandria, Egypt/Egyptian American HS) led all UDC scorers with a season-high 26 points while making 8-of-12 from three-point range. Freshman guard Kory Cooley (Art - Silver Spring, MD/Calvin Coolidge HS) shot 10-for-18 from the field and finished with 22 points as well.

Frosh Kory Cooley (#20) scored 22 points

Meanwhile, senior point guard Quasim Jones (Media Arts - Philadelphia, PA/Johnson CC) dished out a season-high 10 assists to go with 15 points, and junior transfer forward Geran Pope (Political Science - Washington, DC/Virginia Union) registered 19 points and 11 rebounds (including eight on the offensive glass).

Quasim Jones delivered 15 points and 10 assists

Dowling, which had won three of its last four, including a buzzer-beater, 72-70 win at Roberts Wesleyan its last time out on January 10th, fell to 6-8 overall and 4-3 in league play. The Golden Lions were led by forward Evan Maxwell with game-highs of 29 points, 12 rebounds and three blocked shots, and guard Darien Davis with 19 points on 8-of-14 FG shooting. Also, point guard Tristan Brown handed out nine assists to go with seven points and two steals.

Great game for Geran Pope (19 PTS, 11 rebounds)

UDC shot a season-best 53-percent (41-of-77) from the field and made a season-high 16 three-pointers while shooting 50-percent from long range. The Firebirds also out-rebounded the Golden Lions 46-37, with Pope combining with junior forward Clenso Brannon III (Graphic Design - Washington, DC/College of Southern Maryland) for 20 of those UDC rebounds.

The Golden Lions out-scored UDC 56-42 in the paint, but the Firebirds more than doubled-up Dowling in three-point field goals. The Golden Lions made just 7-of-20 (35-percent) from behind-the-arc and also shot poorly from the free-throw line (9-of-17). Bench scoring was another disparity favoring UDC, as Firebird reserves out-scored Dowling's 38-11.

Reggie Sidbury (#21) scored 13 PTS with 3 treys

A three-pointer by Davis near the 15-minute mark gave the Golden Lions what would be their largest lead of the day, 10-6, but sophomore guard Reggie Sidbury's second three-pointer of the day kicked off an 11-2 run by UDC which put the hosts on top to stay, 17-12. Four separate times, Dowling cut the lead to two, including at the 9:14 mark when Davis fed Maxwell for an easy layup to make the score, 25-23. But with just under nine minutes to go, Jones hit one of his three, three-pointers on the day and Pope showed off some of his post-up moves for back-to-back layups as part of a 7-0 run to extend the UDC lead to nine, 32-23. The Firebirds would lead by as many as 13 in the first half and take an 11–point lead, 48-37 at the break.

UDC, which was previously 1-2 in games when leading at halftime, wasted little time in putting the game away in the second half. The Firebirds opened the closing period on a 15-5 run highlighted by four  Abbas three-pointers, and took a commanding, 63-42 lead at the 16:45 mark. Dowling never got any closer than 10 points the rest of the way. Both teams shot over 50-percent from the field in the 2nd half, but UDC made 9-of-17 from three-point range (including six by Abbas) compared to just four by the Golden Lions.

With today's win, UDC is only two games in the loss column back of Roberts Wesleyan (3-3) for 6th place in the league standings.

All three of UDC's wins have come at home this year, and the Firebirds seek their 4th win of the year on Thursday, January 22nd when they host league foe St. Thomas Aquinas at 5 p.m.

Click here for today's box score.