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Firebirds Can’t Keep Pace with Purple Knights in 109-89 Loss

Quadire Truesdale registered 13 points and a game-high seven assists.
Quadire Truesdale registered 13 points and a game-high seven assists.

WASHINGTON, DC – The University of the District of Columbia men's basketball team suffered a 109-89 loss to East Coast Conference foe University of Bridgeport at the UDC Sports Complex Wednesday night.

The Firebirds (1-11, 0-4) had their best shooting night of the season with season-highs of 51-percent (32-of-63) from the field, 50-percent (7-of-14) from three-point range  and 78-percent (18-of-23) from the foul line as they were just one point shy of their season-high scoring output with 89 points.

Still, it was not enough to overcome an opportunistic Purple Knights squad who's full-court press turned a season-high 23 UDC turnovers into 33 points, and who's size-advantage helped it claim 22 offensive rebounds and convert them into 23 2nd chance points. Bridgeport (11-4, 4-1 ECC) made a killing at the three-point line, making 12-of-23 (52-percent) attempts, and it combined for 24 assists (eight more than the Firebirds) and 18 turnovers (five fewer than UDC). The visitors also doubled-up UDC, 47-22 in bench points.

UDC featured six double-figure scorers, including all five starters and one reserve. Senior guard/forward Khalil Jackson led the Firebirds with 18 points while also contributing three steals and two blocked shots, defensively, junior transfer guard Kevin Cox added 16 points and six rebounds, and reserve forward Maurice Waters was one rebound shy of a double-double with 14 points and a game-high nine boards off the bench. Meanwhile, junior transfer guard Quadire Truesdale shot 8-for-8 at the foul line and finished with 13 points to go with a game-high seven assists, and guards Paul Eromosele and Traevon Butler contributed 10 points apiece, with Butler adding four assists and Eromosele two steals and a blocked shot.

Bridgeport also showcased six double-figure scorers, including a game-high 24-point scoring effort on 9-of-15 FG shooting (4-of-8 from long range) and 2-of-3 FT shooting by guard Sam Joseph. Guard Sharif Cobb was a menace for the Firebirds all night as well as he registered 13 points, seven rebounds, four assists and three steals. Cobb was one of nine Purple Knights with at least one steal defensively, including guard D'Vonne Trumbo with two steals to go with a game-high-tying nine rebounds and three assists.

The visitors raced out to an early 9-2 lead courtesy of two Firebird turnovers and two offensive rebounds within the first two minutes of play. UDC fought back with a 6-0 burst to pull within one, and trailed by only three (13-10) as the first half approached the 15-minute mark. Over the next five minutes though, Bridgeport out-scored District of Columbia 16-6 to open up a 13-point advantage. Later, a Joseph three-pointer would extend the Purple Knights' lead to 37-21 around the seven-minute mark, and Bridgeport would ultimately close out the half on a 6-0 march to take a commanding, 63-41 lead at halftime.

In the 2nd half, UDC never got any closer than 17 points as Bridgeport extended its lead to as many as 29 points around the seven-minute mark before settling for a comfortable, 20-point victory.

Next up, the Firebirds will visit ECC foe Mercy College on Saturday, January 6th at 2:30 p.m.