NEWARK, DE – With 19 turnovers and 22 points surrendered off of turnovers, the University of the District of Columbia men's basketball team suffered a 94-77 loss to host Wilmington University in East Region non-conference action Wednesday night at WU Athletics Complex.
Senior guard Traevon Butler led three Firebird scorers in double-figures with 18 points – his 3rd straight double-figure scoring game, freshman guard Paul Eromosele added 12 points off the bench, and freshman forward Maurice Waters registered a double-double with 15 points and 13 rebounds – both season-highs. Still, UDC was out-shot 52-percent to 46-percent from the field and out-rebounded, 47-38 as it fell to 1-5 on the season.
The Wildcats (4-3) were led by three scorers with 20 or more points on the night, including Miles Gillette's double-double of 21 points and 12 rebounds. Shawn Church also added 21 points, and Nick Richards packed the stat sheet with 20 points, six assists, four rebounds, two steals and a blocked shot.
Wilmington, which has won four of its last six games, scored the first five points of the game and opened up a 16-5 advantage six-and-a-half minutes into the game. UDC closed within six a handful of times, and around the five-minute, mark cut the deficit to seven, 34-27 on an Eromosele three-pointer. The Firebirds, however, went a little over three minutes without a field goal after that three-pointer, and the Wildcats pounced with an 18-6 march to close the half. Wilmington led 52-33 at halftime.
Church and Richards each knocked down three-pointers in the first two minutes of the second half to help Wilmington extend its lead to 58-37, but Butler buried back-to-back three-pointers in response – the 2nd trey coming after an emphatic shot block, defensive rebound and assist by Waters. Butler's two long-range bombs ignited a 10-0 surge by the Firebirds, and brought UDC within 11, 58-47 right at the 16-minute mark. Still an 11-point game two minutes later following a Waters jump shot, UDC went cold yet again, going nearly four minutes without a field goal and allowing Wilmington on a 10-2 run to extend its lead to 73-54 approaching the 10-minute mark.
The Wildcats' lead would balloon at 25 after a Church three-pointer at the 3:11 mark to make the score 93-68, and the hosts went on to win comfortably by a 17-point margin.
UDC will open East Coast Conference play on Saturday with a home game vs. Molloy College at 1 p.m.