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.