Firebirds Falter Late, Lose at Virginia State, 55-51

Shantrel Oliver had a game-high-tying 17 points and five assists with zero turnovers.
Shantrel Oliver had a game-high-tying 17 points and five assists with zero turnovers.

ETTRICK, VA – The University of the District of Columbia women's basketball team was defeated by host Virginia State University, 55-51 in non-regional play Monday night at the Multipurpose Center.

UDC (1-5) was led by three scorers in double-figures, including a game-high-tying 17 points by senior guard Shantrel Oliver to go with five assists and zero turnovers in 36 minutes played. Reigning East Coast Conference Rookie of the Week, NyAsia Anderson, recorded her first collegiate double-double with 13 points and 13 rebounds, freshman guard Bianca White knocked down three three-pointers and finished with 11 points, and freshman Dayjah Anderson pitched in with 10 rebounds.

Virginia State (5-1) won its fourth straight game despite being out-shot by the Firebirds, 34-percent (17-of-50) to 28-percent (16-of-57) from the field and 24-percent (6-of-25) to 19-percent (6-of-31) from three-point range. UDC also had a slight, 40-38 rebounding edge. The Trojans, however, had nine fewer turnovers (16-7), which resulted in 10 more points off of turnovers (14-4), and had the deeper bench with 18 points coming from reserves compared to just three for UDC.

VSU was led by three scorers in double figures, including a game-high-tying 17 points by Endia McKinney to go with a team-best 11 rebounds. Guard/forward Taylor Daniels added 11 points and seven rebounds, and guard Nandi Taylor contributed 10 points a game-high eight assists.

The Firebirds led by as many as 12, 35-23, at the six-minute mark of the 3rd quarter after they had gone on a 19-0 surge over a period of 6:48 that spanned the 2nd and 3rd quarters. But beginning with a three-pointer by VSU's McKinney, the Trojans closed out the 3rd quarter on a 17-0 run and reclaimed the lead, 40-35 heading into the 4th quarter.

In the 4th quarter with UDC still trailing by six, 44-38, Oliver scored the last four points of a 7-0 Firebirds run that catapulted UDC back in front, 45-44, with 6:30 remaining. That was the first of six lead changes in that final period, but it was VSU who took the lead for good, 50-49, with a layup by McKinney at the 4-minute mark. UDC would go 0-for-5 from the field and commit four turnovers in the final four minutes of regulation, as the Trojans closed the game out on a 7-2 run and won by a four-point margin, 55-51.

Next up, the Firebirds will play their fourth straight road game on Wednesday night at Shippensburg University. Tip-off is at 7 p.m.