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Firebirds Finish Off Chestnut Hill for Fifth Straight Win

Truesdale led UDC with 17 points and seven assists.
Truesdale led UDC with 17 points and seven assists.

PHILADELPHIA, PA – The University of the District of Columbia men's basketball team defeated Chestnut Hill College, 83-74 in East Region non-conference play Saturday afternoon at Sorgenti Arena.

The Firebirds (5-2) have now won five straight games, tying their longest win streak since December 2015. They also improved to 4-1 on the season vs. regional foes from the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference. Meanwhile, the Griffins dropped their 3rd straight game and fell to 2-5 overall.

Senior point guard Quadire Truesdale led the way offensively for UDC with team-bests of 17 points and seven assists as well as four rebounds. Truesdale's backcourt mates Kevin Cox and Juanye Colon added 15 points apiece, with Cox also hauling in a game-high eight rebounds, and junior transfer guard, Zachary Olukanni, pitched in 12 points, four assists and three rebounds.

CHC featured four double-figure scorers, including a game-high 19-point effort by Billy Miller VI. Ed McWade and Trevonn Pitts each scored 14 points while combining for six rebounds and four assists, and Dexter Thompson flirted with a double-double with 11 points and eight rebounds.

A very evenly played game, each team converted 29 field goals, they were nearly dead even in rebounds (CHC 39, UDC 38), and the two teams combined for nine lead changes and five ties. The Firebirds, however, had five fewer turnovers (18-13), leading to five more field goal attempts (68-63) and almost double as many three-pointers made (13-7), and UDC shot way better at the foul line, converting 12-of-14 (86-percent) compared to the Griffins' 9-of-19 (47-percent).

Miller scored five of his 19 within the first three minutes of regulation, helping Chestnut Hill jump out to its largest lead of the day, 10-2 early in the game. UDC still trailed 15-7 when Truesdale buried a three-pointer to ignite the Firebirds. Starting with that three, UDC out-scored the hosts, 17-6 over the next five minutes. Cox scored eight straight points during that stretch, including back-to-back three-pointers, and Colon capped the run with a layup at the 9:11 mark to make it 24-21, UDC. Two more lead changes and two ties would ensue, but ultimately it was the Firebirds in front, 42-36 at halftime.

The Griffins came out red-hot in the 2nd half, opening on an 8-0 run to propel them to a 44-42 lead about three-and-a-half minutes into the action. Truesdale's jump shot at the 16:14 mark stopped the bleeding and forced another tie at 44, and the see-saw battle resumed. Pitts, who scored 12 of his 14 points in a less than five minute span early in the 2nd half, helped CHC claim a six-point lead, 56-50 at the 12:30 mark.

The next five minutes, however, saw UDC take control of the game, out-scoring the Griffins, 20-6 over that time and claiming an eight-point lead, 70-62. Colon scored 13 of his 15-point total during that run, Cox added five, and Olukanni put the finishing touch with a layup at the 7:48 mark.

UDC increased its lead to 10, 78-68, with anther Olukanni layup at the 51-second mark, and the Firebirds would make 5-of-6 free-throws down the stretch to finish off the Griffins by a nine-point margin.

The Firebirds will seek their 6th straight win when they open East Coast Conference play on Wednesday night, December 5th, on the road at preseason conference favorite, University of Bridgeport. Tip-off is at 7 p.m.