Firebirds Drop 2nd Straight Road Game in Lopsided Loss at Daemen

Nickerson (left) and Chandler (right) teamed up for 68 points.
Nickerson (left) and Chandler (right) teamed up for 68 points.

AMHERST, NY – The University of the District of Columbia men's basketball team suffered its 2nd straight East Coast Conference road loss with a 97-77 defeat vs. Daemen College Saturday afternoon at Lumsden Gym.

 

The Firebirds fall out of first place in the ECC standings with today's loss as they move to 10-8 overall and 7-3 in league play. Daemen, which has now won five of its last six games, improves to 12-6 overall and 6-4 in the ECC.

 

The 97 points allowed by the Firebirds ties the most they have allowed all season as the Wildcats shot a scintillating 63-percent (38-of-60) from the field, and nearly just as well from three-point range at 62-percent (13-of-21). UDC shot an impressive 53-percent (32-of-61) from the field and 40-percent (6-of-15) from long range, but tha was not enough to keep pace with Daemen.

 

Senior guard Joseph Nickerson led four Firebird starters in double-figures as he registered 19 points on 8-of-14 FG shooting and added a game-high six assists and five rebounds. The NCAA Division II national leader in steals per-game also had two thefts on the day.

 

Nickerson's supporting cast included fellow guards Kasim Chandler and Traevon Butler with 12 points apiece, and guard/forward Khalil Jackson with 10 points. Jackson was superb on defense as well, collecting season and game-highs of six blocked shots and four steals.

 

Daemen also had four scorers in double-figures, including a game-high 21 points on 8-of-11 FG by forward Arif Mehmetaj. Also, guard Supreme Hannah added 16 points, six rebounds and five assists.

 

The Wildcats, who avenged an earlier 90-84 overtime loss to UDC in our nation's capital on December 3rd, 2016, led wire to wire in today's matchup. They improved to 10-1 at home this season while UDC is now 3-6 on the road.

 

Jeff Redband (19 pts) had two three-pointers within the first four minutes of play as he helped Daemen out to an early 11-4 lead. The Wildcats still led, 28-22 around the seven-minute mark of the first half when they took off on a 15-0 run over the next four minutes, extending their lead to 43-22. UDC closed out the half on an 8-4 run, and thanks to a layup by Butler in the final seconds, trailed 47-30 at halftime.

 

Daemen opened the 2nd half on an 8-2 run, pushing its lead to 55-32 just over two minutes in. The Wildcats' lead would balloon at 28 around the five-minute mark, and they would coast to a 20-point margin of victory at the final buzzer.

 

The Firebirds have a week to get ready for their next game, which will be at home against ECC foe Queens College on Saturday, January 28th at 3 p.m. UDC will look to end its two-game losing streak and even the season series with the Knights after dropping the first meeting in Flushing, NY, 72-56 back on December 10th