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Slow Start Hinders Firebirds in 80-56 Loss at Daemen

Men's Basketball vs. Bloomfield, 11/18/17
Traevon Butler led the Firebirds with 14 points - his 10th double-figure scoring game this season.

AMHERST, NY – The University of the District of Columbia men's basketball team was defeated, 80-56 by Daemen College in East Coast Conference action Wednesday afternoon at Lumsden Gymnasium.

The Firebirds (1-13, 0-6 ECC) took just over four minutes to get on the scoreboard as they fell behind 8-0, and they never quite found their way into the game. The Wildcats (9-6, 3-2 ECC) led wire-to-wire as they picked up their 4th straight win.

Senior guard Traevon Butler recorded a team-best 14 points for his 10th double-figure scoring game this season, junior transfer guard Danny Shand pitched in 12 points, four rebounds, three assists and two steals, and junior transfer guard Kevin Cox added 11 points and two blocked shots. Also, senior center Kyle Williams contributed team-highs of six rebounds and three blocked shots, and freshman guard Paul Eromosele scored eight points off the bench.

Daemen featured five double-figure scorers, including a game-high 19 points by starting forward Jeff Redband. Center Andrew Sischo and guards Breon Harris and Darius Garvin each scored 11 points, with Sischo also grabbing six rebounds, Garvin grabbing six boards and collecting four assists and three steals, and Harris adding three rebounds, three assists, a steal and a blocked shot. Aleks Miljenovic provided a spark off the bench, shooting 7-of-8 from the field and 2-of-2 at the foul line for 17 points to go with a game-high eight rebounds.

UDC shot a perfect 6-of-6 at the foul line and had four fewer turnovers (17-13) than did Daemen; however, the Wildcats out-shot UDC 58-percent (33-of-57) to 34-percent (22-of-64) from the field and 40-percent (6-of-15) to 30-percent (6-of-20) from three-point range. Daemen also enjoyed a 40-27 rebounding advantage which led to a 42-26 advantage in points in the paint.

Redband opened the scoring with a three-pointer 50 seconds into the action, and Sischo added five points as Daemen opened on an 8-0 run to start the game. Butler scored five straight points for the Firebirds to help bring UDC within five, 10-5, but Daemen responded with a 13-4 surge to take a commanding, 25-9 advantage, and it never looked back. The Wildcats took a 44-23 lead at halftime.

In the first four-and-a-half minutes of the second half, UDC out-scored Daemen 14-5 thanks to six points by Shand, and five points, a steal and an assist by Butler. The Firebirds had cut the deficit to 12, 49-37 around the 15:30 mark, but that was as close as UDC would get the rest of the way. Still a 15-point deficit for UDC nearing the eight-minute mark, Daemen put the game away with a 15-2 burst, culminating in a pair of free-throws by Miljenovic to put the Wildcats ahead, 78-50 with 2:10 remaining. Eromosele scored the final six points of the game to make the final score, 80-56.

Next up, UDC will host St. Thomas Aquinas College on Saturday, January 13th at 3 p.m.