Friday, February 27, 2015

Men's Basketball: Mercy 79 UDC 77

Michael Terry led all players with 27 points 

From our friends at UDC Athletics...

UDC Men’s Basketball Drops Heartbreaker to Mercy, 79-77 on Senior Night

The University of the District of Columbia men's basketball team suffered a heart-breaking, 79-77 defeat vs. East Coast Conference foe Mercy in their home season finale Thursday night at the UDC Sports Complex.

The game looked destined for overtime when Mercy's Najee Senior's jump shot rimmed out with about five seconds remaining and UDC freshman forward Andre Williams secured the rebound right in front of the net. But following his missed shot, Senior came charging in, batted the ball out of Williams' hands and was fouled as he immediately attempted to put up a shot with .5 seconds remaining in regulation. Senior went on to sink both shots at the free-throw line, and UDC was unable to get a shot off before the horn on the subsequent possession as the Mavericks snuck away the two-point victors.

The foul that wasn't called...

The loss drops UDC to 5-22 overall (5-14 ECC), with this being the eighth single-digit defeat (third by a two-point margin) of the season. Mercy, which evened the season series vs. UDC with tonight's win, improved to 8-18 overall and 3-17 in league play.

Quasim Jones led all players with 7 assists

The Firebirds shot a red-hot 48-percent from three-point range while making 11-of-23 from behind-the-arc led by star senior guard Michael Terry's six treys in his final UDC home game. Terry (Criminal Justice - Philadelphia, PA/Boston U) shot 9-of-15 from the field and 3-of-3 at the free-throw line to finish with a game-high 27 points. Point guard Quasim Jones (Media Arts - Philadelphia, PA/Johnson CC) was also impressive in his final Firebird home game, registering 13 points, a game-high seven assists, five rebounds and two steals.

Andre Williams (#12) led all players with 8 rebounds & 3 steals

Mercy, however, out-shot UDC 55-percent (29-of-53) to 44-percent (24-of-54) from the field and 89-percent (16-of-18) to 75-percent (18-of-24) from the free-throw line. The Mavericks also had three fewer turnovers (13-10) and seven more points off of turnovers (21-14), and they outscored UDC 38-24 in the paint.

Reggie Sidbury started and scored 3 points

All five Mercy starters scored in double-figures, including a team-high 17 points by both forward Gerald McClease and guard Jason Quijada. Forward Lazaro Martinez added 16 points, and Najee Senior finished with 10, including the game-winning pair of free-throws.

Geran Pope (#34) scored 5 points off the bench

The Mavericks opened the game on a 9-0 run and led 17-5 after a McClease layup near the 14-minute mark. Terry, sophomore guard Reggie Sidbury and junior guard Omar Abbas each knocked down a three-pointer during a 15-6 Firebirds surge that culminated in a conventional three-point play on an and-one layup by junior forward Geran Pope to bring UDC within two, 23-21 just past the nine-minute mark. Still trailing 27-23 past the seven-minute mark, Terry buried another three-pointer and Jones followed with a layup to give UDC its first lead of the night at the 5:33 mark, 28-27. Mercy would go on to out-score UDC 10-4 to close out the half, and took a 37-32 lead at intermission.

Clenso Brannon III (#2) grabbed 6 rebounds

Almost five minutes into the second half, Mercy extended its lead to nine (50-41) after a pair of free-throws by Senior and a layup by Quijada, but the Firebirds fought back to even the score at 53 with a 12-3 run that culminated in back-to-back three-pointers by Andre Williams and Quasim Jones. Later, following a Terry three-pointer to force another tie at 58, junior reserve guard Erin Senegal knocked down a pair of free-throws to give UDC its first lead of the second half, 60-58 with 11:25 remaining. Later, Quijada single-handedly both tied the game at 62 with a jump shot and then put the Mavericks back in front, 65-62 with a three-pointer at the 9:22 mark. This contributed to an 11-3 Mercy run that put the Mavericks on top, 69-63 with the game approaching eight minutes.

Prince Ritson bid adieu with 5 points & 2 rebounds

Again, UDC fought its way back with a 12-4 run, culminating in two consecutive three-pointers by Terry - the second of which, put UDC in front, 75-73 with 3:31 remaining. On the ensuing Mercy possession, though, McClease sank a pair of free-throws to tie the score at 75, and after over two minutes of scoreless basketball, Quijada gave Mercy back the lead, 77-75 with 56 seconds left.

Great fan support

Following a Mercy timeout, an offensive rebound helped keep UDC's possession alive before Jones drove hard to the hoop for an easy layup to knot the score again at 77 with 38 seconds remaining. This, however, only set the tone for Najee Senior's steal and subsequent free-throws. With only .5 seconds remaining, UDC inbounded to Terry who worked quickly past the timeline, and tried to draw a foul with a half-court heave, but the official ruled that time had expired before the shot attempt and no foul was called.

Cutest ticket agent ever!

The Firebirds will wrap up the 2014-15 season on the road at St. Thomas Aquinas on Saturday, February 28th.

Lenjo Kilo (r) and his fan posse

Click here for yesterday's box score.