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UDC Women’s Basketball Suffers 61-45 Loss vs. Molloy

Freshman reserve guard Kaylah Cooper scored a team and season-high 16 points.
Freshman reserve guard Kaylah Cooper scored a team and season-high 16 points.

WASHINGTON, DC – The University of the District of Columbia women's basketball team was defeated by East Coast Conference foe Molloy, 61-45 at the UDC Sports Complex Wednesday night.

The Firebirds (2-15, 1-6 ECC) were led by freshman reserve guard Kaylah Cooper's season-high 16 points in 26 minutes off the bench, as well as freshman starting guard Bianca White's 13 points. Senior center Jaslynn Rollins also had a game-high 16 rebounds – her 7th double-figure rebounding game this season.

The Lions (13-4, 5-2 ECC), meanwhile, roared to their 5th straight win on the backs of guard Kamala Thompson's game-high 21 points, eight rebounds and three assists. Reserve Shantana Kanhoye added 11 points in 12 minutes off the bench.

Molloy held UDC to 26-percent FG shooting and 20-percent shooting behind-the-arc while the Lions shot 46-percnet from the field and 39-percent from three-point range. The visitors also out held a 38-32 rebounding edge and nearly tripled the Firebirds in assists (17-6).

The Firebirds, who led one time in the game, 19-18, late in the 2nd quarter and trailed by only three at halftime, had six fewer turnovers (14-8), eight more points off of turnovers (13-5), four more 2nd chance points (13-9), and nine more bench points (26-17).

The Lions scored the game's first four points and raced out to early leads of 7-2, 12-4 and 14-6, with Thompson scoring nine of her 21 in that first period. The last points of the half came on a jump shot by UDC freshman guard Bailee White, and UDC trailed 14-8 at the end of the opening quarter.

Cooper then single-handedly got UDC its first lead of the game by scoring 11 straight points for the Firebirds during an 11-4 surge, as she knocked down a pair of free-throws followed by three straight three-pointers to put UDC up, 19-18 with 4:53 to play in the 2nd quarter. Molloy would never trail again though after a three-point response by Kanhoye made it 21-19, and after Bailee White's jumper forced a 21-all tie, Kanhoye scored five straight points to put the Lions ahead to stay, 26-21. A pair of Bianca White free-throws made it 26-23 with about one minute left to play, and that's how the score would remain at the halftime horn.

Cooper opened the scoring again in the 3rd quarter with a jump shot at 8:19 to pull the Firebirds within one, but that was as close as UDC would get the rest of the way. A three-pointer by Thompson sparked a 17-5 burst by the Lions during the rest of the period as the visitors extended their lead to 13, 43-30 heading into the final quarter.

Twice in the first four minutes of the final period UDC cut the deficit to nine, but the Firebirds never got any closer than that. Following Bianca White's three-pointer at 6:28 to make it 49-40, Thompson capped a 10-1 Molloy run with the last five points, giving the Lions their largest lead of the night, 59-41 with 2:55 remaining. The visitors would coast to a 16-point margin of victory, 61-45.

Next up, UDC visits ECC foe Mercy College on Saturday, January 14th at Westchester Community College.