Late Turnovers Haunt Firebirds in 84-80 Loss to Bloomfield

Men's Basketball vs. Queens, 1/28/17
Jackson registered 13 points, seven rebounds, three blocked shots and two assists.

WASHINGTON, DC – The University of the District of Columbia men's basketball team was defeated, 84-80 by Bloomfield College in East Region non-conference action from UDC Sports Complex on Saturday afternoon.

The Firebirds (1-3), who led for most of the second half after starting the closing frame on a 9-0 run, turned the ball over in three of their final four possessions en-route to the four-point loss. The Bears, who out-shot UDC 55-percent (11-of-20) to 28-percent (8-of-29) from three-point range and 86-percent (25-of-29) to 71-percent (10-of-14) from the foul line, improved to 4-0 on the season with the win.

The first half featured seven ties and eight lead changes, with the Bears breaking the final tie of the half at 33 all and scoring nine straight points to claim the largest lead of the day by either team, 42-33 with 5:14 remaining before intermission. The Firebirds went on to score 15 of the final 25 points of the half, however, and pulled within four, 52-48 at the break.

UDC then opened on a 9-0 run to start the 2nd half, claiming its largest lead of the day, 58-52 with 16:47 left to play. Junior guard Kevin Cox (20 pts, nine rebounds, three blocked shots, two steals) started and ended the run with jump shots. The Firebirds led by six as late as the 12-minute mark and still by four (74-70) with 6:30 remaining.

Right around the six-minute mark though, BC's Nick Davidson knocked down a jump shot to ignite a game-changing, 11-3 march by the Bears.  Keith Washington put the final touch on that run, burying a three-pointer at the 2:36 mark to put Bloomfield in front, 81-77.

Senior guard Khalil Jackson (13 pts, seven rebounds, three blocked shots, two assists) brought UDC back within a point, 81-80 at the 1:21 mark when he converted a conventional three-point play, and the Firebirds had a chance to re-claim the lead following a Davidson miss at the other end. UDC was whistled for an offensive foul, however, and Bloomfield took possession with 45 seconds to play.

The Firebirds' Quadire Truesdale (14 pts, five assists and three steals) came up with a steal at the 21-second mark, but he turned the ball right back over five seconds later. UDC fouled immediately on the ensuing Bears' possession, and Safee Abdus-Sabur knocked down both his free-throws to make it a three-point game, 83-80. Still a one-possession game, the Firebirds had one more chance, but once again turned the ball over with 11 seconds left. Marcus Fleming, who came up with that pivotal steal for the Bears, went to the line and knocked down 1-of-2 to make it a two-possession game, and Bloomfield went on to win by four, 84-80.

For UDC, Cox led four Firebirds in double-figures, including senior guard Traevon Butler with 16 points, nine rebounds and four assists. Bloomfield also featured four double-figure scorers, including Davidson's game-high 24 points. Washington finished with 17 points, four rebounds and three assists, Abdus-Sabur added 16 points and six rebounds off the bench, and Fleming pitched in 13 points, eight rebounds, four assists and two steals.

Next up, the Firebirds will host non-region foe Slippery Rock University on Tuesday, November 21st at 6 p.m.