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Strong Finish by the Firebirds as they lose 79-72 to St. Thomas Aquinas

Men's Basketball vs. Bridgeport, 1/3/18
Freshman Maurice Waters contributed with 12 points, five rebounds, and two steals.

SPARKILL, NY – The University of the District of Columbia men's basketball team will be proud of their efforts in their final game of the season against number three in the East Region and East Coast Conference opponents St. Thomas Aquinas as they fell short 79-72, Saturday afternoon at Aquinas Hall Gym. 

The Firebirds end the season 7-20 and 5-13 in conference play but will be satisfied with their final performance of the season against a relentless St. Thomas Aquinas team who are now 24-6 overall and 15-3 in ECC play where they will be looking to add the ECC title for their 3rd time in a row. 

UDC had some impressive performers today, which included junior guard Quadire Truesdale who took 20 points, six rebounds, and four assists to end his season with a season-high. Freshmen duo Maurice Waters and Paul Eromosele will be pleased with their contribution as Waters made 12 points, five rebounds, and two steals, Eromosele had 11 points and two rebounds. 

St. Thomas Aquinas Spartans were led by 2016 ECC Player of the Year senior guard Justin Reyes who took 18 points, seven rebounds, three assists, and two steals to give the Spartans the victory. His teammate James Mitchell had a successful day as he saw 21 points, five rebounds, and six assists. 

The 1st half saw St. Thomas Aquinas take control with the score at 24-12 mid way through the half, however, an inspired Firebirds team kept plugging away at the regionally ranked Spartans when freshman Paul Eromosele made a superb three point shot to bring the score to 25-24. But some fine shooting by the home team saw them pull away again to end the half 44-36. 

With the game still in the balance, the District of Columbia persevered away from home and showed early confidence when junior guard Kevin Cox relieved some pressure with a three-point and jump shot to bring the game to within three points. 

A back and forth match led by St. Thomas Aquinas was surely out of sight with two minutes left on the clock when Reyes made a jump shot to give them a 72-59 lead. Although, a familiar trend set by the Firebirds saw them hit back to within three points again to make it 75-72 with 14 seconds remaining – but desperation saw fouls made and the Spartans extended the lead to make the final score 79-72. 

Head Coach Mike Riley finishes the season 7-20 overall and 5-13 in conference play. The Firebirds will be back next year with six returning players and looking to strengthen their position within the conference.