Strong Second Half Propels UDC Women’s Basketball to 56-54 Win vs. Daemen in ECC Opener

Senior guard Shantrel Oliver registered team-highs of 17 points and four assists.
Senior guard Shantrel Oliver registered team-highs of 17 points and four assists.

WASHINGTON, DC – The University of the District of Columbia women's basketball team overcame a 31-23 halftime deficit to defeat Daemen College, 56-54 in its East Coast Conference season opener Saturday afternoon at UDC Sports Complex.

The Firebirds (2-6, 1-0 ECC) trailed the Wildcats, 52-49 after a three-pointer by Daemen's Jordan Heinold with just under two minutes to play, but UDC senior guard Shantrel Oliver responded with a three-pointer at the other end to tie the score. Oliver would later find an open 6'0 senior center Jaslynn Rollins for an easy go-ahead layup right around the 1-minute mark.

Following a three-point miss by Heinold, UDC failed to convert a layup, but Rollins came up with a pivotal offensive rebound to extend the possession and force another Wildcats foul. Rollins would then convert 1-of-2 at the line, and on the 2nd shot miss, freshman guard NyAsia Anderson came up with yet another offensive board for the Firebirds. Anderson would also convert 1-of-2 to make it a four-point game, and UDC went on to win by two.

UDC was led by three starting guards in double-figures scoring, including a team-best 17 points by Oliver who also handed out a team-high four assists. Anderson added 13 points and seven rebounds (four offensive), and junior Kaiya Coleman pitched in with 10 points. Rollins hauled in a game-high 10 rebounds while adding seven points scored.

Daemen was led by forward Jordan Heinold's game-high 21 points on 8-of-15 FG shooting and 5-of-9 shooting behind-the-arc. Heinold also had a team-high seven rebounds, two blocks and two steals. Guard Leah McDonell also contributed 13 points and tied for the team-high seven rebounds.

The Firebirds were out-shot 42-percent (22-of-52) to 36-percent (20-of-55) from the field and 33-percent (8-of-24) to 30-percent (7-of-23) from three-point range, and they were out-rebounded 38-34; however, UDC shot much better than the Wildcats at the foul line (9-of-17), and turned the ball over eight fewer times (23-15). UDC converted 18 points off of Daemen turnovers while the Wildcats had just five.

Next up, UDC will host a non-regional opponent, Glenville State on Monday, December 5th at 5 p.m.