Friday, February 27, 2015

Women's Basketball: UDC 87 Mercy 74

UDC celebrates Senior Day in style

From our friends at UDC Athletics...

No. 22 Firebirds Clinch ECC Regular Season Championship with 13th Straight Win, 87-74 Over Mercy; Tie School Season Win Record with 24

On a night for honoring the four Firebird seniors on the University of the District of Columbia women's basketball team, those four student-athletes shined bright to help the host Firebirds secure an 87-74 win over East Coast Conference foe, Mercy in their home regular season finale Thursday night.

With this 13th straight victory, the No. 22 nationally-ranked Firebirds clinched an ECC Regular Season Championship and No. 1 seed in next weekend's ECC Tournament, and they also tied the school season-win record of 24 as they improved to 24-3 overall (17-2 ECC). UDC wraps up the season on the road Saturday with a final ECC contest vs. St. Thomas Aquinas.

ShaKena Williams led UDC with 21 points (& 6 treys)

Senior Washington, DC native ShaKena Williams (Accounting - Frederick CC) thrilled her hometown crowd in possibly her last career home game as she made six three-point field goals (seven total FG) and finished with a team-high 21 points. Senior forward Denikka Brent (Mechanical Engineering - Chesapeake, VA/Booker T. Washington HS), a four-year standout at UDC with over 1,000 points and 500 rebounds in her career, demonstrated why she is an ECC Player of the Year candidate as she packed the stat sheet with 16 points, seven rebounds, and game-highs of six steals and three blocked shots.

Denikka Brent (#11) dominates again

Senior point guard Telisha Turner (Criminal Justice - Wilmington, DE/Harcum), who figures to play a prominent role in next week's ECC Tournament as the reigning Tournament MVP, registered 15 points and a game-high four assists tonight. Also, senior forward Diamonique Carr (Criminal Justice - Camden, NJ/Harcum) made several great hustle plays as she contributed six points, five rebounds, three steals and two assists.

Telisha Turner added 15 points & 4 assists

Both teams shot well from the field (UDC - 49-percent, Mercy 47-percent), but the Firebirds more than doubled-up the Mavericks in three-point field goals as they made 12-of-27 (44-percent) to Mercy's 5-of-14 (36-percent). UDC's suffocating full-court press forced the Mavericks into 21 turnovers, which the Firebirds converted into 27 points. The Firebirds also had a decisive depth advantage as UDC's bench out-scored Mercy's, 23-9.

Tatyana Calhoun (#32) grabbed 7 rebounds in 13 minutes

Williams connected on three of her first four three-point attempts and Turner knocked down a pair of treys as the Firebirds raced out to a 29-8 lead just past the 10-minute mark of the first half. Mercy cut the lead to 16 (31-15) with a  7-2 run, but the Firebirds soared to their biggest lead of the night with a 14-2 surge to pull away, 45-17 with a little over two minutes left in the opening period. UDC, having out-shot Mercy, 52-percent to 37-percent from the field and made 6-of-11 from long range, took a comfortable 47-23 lead into halftime.

Iman Scott (#24) scored 10 points in 10 minutes

UDC tied its largest lead of the night almost five minutes into the second half after a Williams three-pointer made it 61-33. At that point, Deasia Goodson (nine points - all in the second half), Tanayzha Augustine (19 points, game-high 15 rebounds) and Brandone Roberts (22 points, eight rebounds) combined to help lead the Mavericks on a 20-7 run to close within 15, 68-53 just before the nine-minute mark. Mercy would also come within 12 (81-69) near the three-minute mark after consecutive buckets by Monet Keane-Dawes, but the Firebirds stiffened, and went on to win comfortably by a 13-point margin.

Shantrel Oliver added 6 points & 2 steals 

Click here for last night's box score.