Firebirds Fall Short in Comeback Attempt at Bloomfield

Junior guard Traevon Butler recorded his first career double-double.
Junior guard Traevon Butler recorded his first career double-double.

BLOOMFIELD,  NJ – The University of the District of Columbia men's basketball team was defeated by host Bloomfield College, 86-80 in non-conference East Region play Saturday afternoon at Bloomfield Gym.

The Firebirds (1-2) trailed by 18 – their largest deficit of the game- with 10 minutes remaining in the 2nd half, but at that very point, used a 16-2 blitz over a span of just 3:06 to claw their way back within four, 69-65, with just under seven minutes to play. Bloomfield (2-1) responded, however, with a 9-1 run to pad its lead back up to 12 around the 4:30 mark, and UDC never really threatened again the rest of the way as the Bears ultimately won by a six-point margin.

UDC had five scorers in double-figures, including a game-high 26-point effort by senior guard Joseph Nickerson. The Newark, NJ native playing close to home also registered seven rebounds, three steals and two blocked shots. Junior guard Traevon Butler recorded his first career double-double with 13 points and a career-high 11 rebounds to go with four assists as well. Senior point guard Kasim Chandler struggled shooting from the field (3-of-16), but made 5-of-7 at the foul line and handed out a game-high eight assists.

Bloomfield featured four scorers in double-figures, with forward Rakwan Kelly leading the way, posting a team-high 22 points and a game-high 14 rebounds. Another Bears forward, Nick Davidson, added 21 points and nine rebounds, and guards Marcus Fleming and Safee Abdus-Sabur combined for 30 points and 15 rebounds.

In what was truly a tale of two halves, UDC was out-shot 40-percent to 32-percent from the field in the first half, but out-shot Bloomfield 48-percent to 43-percent in the closing half. Consequently, the Firebirds headed into halftime trailing by 13 (40-27), but outscored the Bears 53-46 in the 2nd half and twice closed within four. The biggest statistical discrepancy in BC's six-point margin of victory was a 57-38 Bears' rebounding advantage, which translated into six more 2nd chance points (12-6) for Bloomfield.

Next up, the Firebirds will visit non-regional opponent Slippery Rock University on Wednesday, November 23rd.