NYACK, NY – The University of the District of Columbia men's basketball team transformed a seven-point deficit into a seven-point lead over the final 13 minutes of regulation and went on to defeat host Nyack College, 69-63 on the road in regional non-conference play Wednesday night at Bowman Gym.
The Firebirds (1-2) earned their first win of the season on the strength of junior transfer guard Kevin Cox's game-high 25 points. Cox shot 10-of-15 from the field, including 3-of-6 from long range, and also hauled in a game-high 11 rebounds, blocked two shots and grabbed one steal.
Freshman forward Maurice Waters also registered a double-double of 13 points and 11 rebounds to go with two steals and a block, and reserve junior transfer guard Danny Shand pitched in with 13 points, seven rebounds, and team-bests of five assists and three steals.
Nyack (0-3) featured only two scorers in double-figures as the Warriors were led by Imran Ritchie's 18 points, five rebounds, three assists and three steals, and Rashard Lewis' 12 points. Carl Balthazar led the team with 10 rebounds and tied for the game-high with two blocked shots.
The first half featured five ties and nine lead changes, with Nyack controlling the lead for the majority of the period courtesy of Imran Ritchie's 12 points and Rashard Lewis' nine on 3-for-3 shooting from long range. UDC led by as many as eight points in the period after a three-pointer by Cox – who scored 16 of his 25 in the first half – around the six-minute mark. Nyack, however, out-scored UDC 16-4 to close out the opening half and took a 45-41 advantage into intermission.
By the 13:33 mark of the second half, Nyack had tied its largest lead of the night (7) after a 1-of-2 trip at the line by Jah-Meer McDuffie, but the Firebirds took the game over by storm from that point on. UDC would go on to out-score the Warriors, 22-9 to close out the game.
Waters scored the first three points of the game-changing run on a 1-of-2 trip at the line and then a jumper off of an assist by senior guard Traevon Butler. Next, came freshman reserve guard Paul Eromosele's 2nd three-pointer of the game in just 12 minutes off the bench for UDC, which cut the lead to one, 54-53 around the eight-minute mark.
Lewis buried his 4th and final made three-point field goal of the night around the seven-minute mark to extend the Warriors' lead back up to four, but seven straight points by Cox, including a three-pointer at the 4:46 mark, gave UDC its first lead of the 2nd half, 60-57.
Nyack's Calvin Harris knocked down a jumper at 3:39 to make it a one-point game, but a critical three-pointer by Shand at 3:18 to put UDC back up four was the final dagger the Warriors could not overcome. Shand would go on to ice the win with 6-of-8 shooting on the line down the stretch, as UDC went on to win by a six-point margin, 69-63.
The Firebirds' bench out-scored Nyack's 21-10 for the game, including an 11-3 disparity in the 2nd half.
Next up, UDC will host its season home opener on Saturday, November 18th vs. Bloomfield College at 1 p.m.