Thursday, December 17, 2015

Women's Basketball: UDC 70 Molloy 65

Iman Scott (#24) led all players with 24 points

From our friends at UDC Athletics...

Strong Finish Sends Firebirds to 5th Straight Win, 70-65 Over Molloy

The University of the District of Columbia women's basketball team once again used a strong 4th quarter finish to come away victorious as the Firebirds defeated Molloy College, 70-65 in East Coast Conference play Wednesday night in our nation's capital.

The Firebirds won their 5th straight game and improved to 7-3 overall (3-0 ECC) while Molloy fell to 2-6 overall and 1-2 in league play.

Jenka Stiasna (#25) scored 15 points in 19 minutes

Senior forward Iman Scott led all scorers with 24 points as she shot 7-of-11 from the field (3-of-4 from long range) and made 7-of-8 at the foul line. Meanwhile, junior forward Jenka Stiasna powered the Firebirds in their dominant 4th quarter performance as she knocked down two clutch three-pointers and scored 10 of her 15 points in the closing period. Senior forward Tiara Goode gave an outstanding effort off the bench as well as she contributed eight points, seven rebounds, four assists and two steals.

Tiara Goode (#14) added 8 points & 7 boards

The Lions were led by guard Alexia Connor with 18 points, seven rebounds, three assists and two steals. Brianna Perlmutter also registered a double-double off the bench with 11 points and game-highs of 10 rebounds and three blocked shots.

Brianna Perlmutter (#20) led all players with 10 rebounds & 3 blocks

Field goal shooting (Molloy - 42-percent, UDC - 41-percent) and rebounding (UDC - 38, Molloy 37) were virtually even, though the Lions out-shot the Firebirds 63-percent (10-of-16) to 50-percent (7-of-14) from long range. The Firebirds defense did however force 19 Molloy turnovers which they turned into 19 points. Also, UDC had a 30-24 points in the paint advantage and more than doubled-up the Lions in free-throw attempts (20-9) with six more free throws made (13-7).

Arielle Ward (#5) grabbed 2 offensive rebounds

The two ECC foes traded baskets throughout the first quarter as the lead changed hands seven times before the Firebirds closed on a 7-1 burst ending with a Goode three-pointer with seven seconds remaining to put UDC up 20-16.

Jaslynn Rollins (#21) added 2 points & 4 rebounds

Alex Hampton helped Molloy shift the tide with a three-pointer 17 seconds into the 2nd quarter as the Lions used three triples (two by Alexia O'Connor) to go on a 14-5 run and claim their largest lead of the night, 30-25 with five minutes left in the second quarter. Scott began and finished a 6-0 Firebirds surge with a pair of free-throws and later a layup to put UDC back on top, 31-30 with two minutes remaining, but O'Connor knocked down her 3rd three-pointer of the quarter for the final points of the half at the 1:37 mark as Molloy took a 33-31 lead into intermission.

Senior guard Myla Somerville (#2)

By just over a minute into the 3rd quarter, UDC regained the lead, 35-34 as the Firebirds out-scored the Lions 4-1 courtesy of a Scott jump shot and Calhoun layup. The lead would change hands five more times in the 3rd quarter before Molloy closed on a 6-0 run to go up 46-42 heading into the 4th quarter.

Sophomore Dionna Tunstall (#11)

Trailing as they began the 4th quarter for the 4th consecutive game, the Firebirds opened on a 9-3 run that included two three-pointers by Scott - one of which turned into a four-point play (see photo, at top) as she was fouled in the act of shooting. Scott's free-throw put UDC ahead by two, 51-49 with 6:10 left in regulation.

Tatyana Calhoun (#32) scored 10 points with 7 rebounds

Kimani Jackson then answered for Molloy with a jump shot to knot the score at 51 at 5:46, but Stiasna buried a clutch three-pointer 15 seconds later to put the Firebirds ahead to stay, 54-51. Perlmutter twice pulled the Lions within one with consecutive jump shots, but UDC answered first with a Tatyana Calhoun layup and later with a pair of free-throws by the ECC's best foul line shooter, Tajruba Baldwin-Kollore.

Taj Baldwin-Kollore led UDC with 4 assists & 5 steals

Already up 58-55, Stiasna knocked down another three-pointer at the top of the key off an assist by Baldwin-Kollore, and the Firebirds were up six, 61-55 with just over three minutes left to play. Molloy twice pulled within three, including a 68-65 score with 23 seconds remaining. But following a UDC timeout, the Firebirds used excellent ball movement to avoid any Molloy intentional foul and worked the clock all the ay down to just seven seconds remaining before Ally Leftridge stopped the clock with a foul on Stiasna. The Slovakia native calmly sank both of her free-throws to ice the win as UDC was victorious by a five-point margin.

UDC head coach DeWayne Burroughs

Next up, the Firebirds will host the preseason favorite and reigning ECC Tournament champion Queens College (NY) on Saturday, December 19th at 1 PM. The two teams split games last season - each winning on its home floor.

Molloy head coach Joe Pellicane

Click here for last night's box score.