VALHALLA, NY – With a roster of only six available student-athletes, the University of the District of Columbia women's basketball team was defeated, 66-50 on the road at East Coast Conference foe Mercy College on Saturday afternoon at Westchester Community College.
Three starting freshmen guards – Bianca White (14 points), Tyra Coombs (12 points), and Kaylah Cooper (11 points) scored in double-figures to lead the Firebirds offensively. White also registered game-highs of eight rebounds, two blocked shots and two steals, and Cooper added six rebounds, two steals and one blocked shot.
Meanwhile, another UDC freshman guard, Bailee White, played 34 minutes off the bench and produced eight points, seven rebounds, a game-high five assists and two steals.
Mercy (3-13, 1-7 ECC) had seven different players enter the scoring column, including three in double-figures. The Mavericks were led by forward Monet Keane-Dawes' game-high 15 points on 5-of-7 FG shooting (3-of-4 long range) and 2-2 FT shooting. Keane-Dawes also tied for the game-highs of eight rebounds and two steals. Guard Chi-La Bady was very proficient running the offense with eight assists to just three turnovers while also scoring seven points and snagging two steals.
The hosts out-shot UDC 38-percent (23-of-60) to 34-percent (19-of-56) from the field, 33-percent (9-of-27) to 23-percent (7-of-30) from three-point range, and 79-percent (11-of-14) to 50-percent (5-of-10) at the foul line. The Mavericks also had four more assists (15-11) and seven fewer turnovers (19-12).
Keane-Dawes knocked down a three-pointer just 13 seconds into the game to open the scoring, and two more Mercy three-pointers later, the Mavericks held a 9-5 lead five minutes into the opening quarter.
Sisters Bailee and Bianca White then led UDC on a 7-0 run with four and three points, respectively, and the Firebirds had their largest lead of the game, 12-9, with 2:23 left in the first quarter. Mercy responded with a 5-0 burst to go up 14-12 on a layup by Caralie Wilson, but a three-pointer by Coombs gave UDC a 15-14 lead they would hold onto at quarter's end.
The first three minutes of the 2nd quarter were a pivotal turning point in the game as Mercy made five of its first six shots (including three consecutive three-pointers) in the quarter while holding UDC scoreless. The result, a 13-0 run that catapulted the Mavericks in front, 27-15. Mercy would lead at halftime, 38-28.
The third quarter was even worse for the Firebirds, who, in the first six-and-a-half minutes of play, managed only another Coombs three-pointer while Mercy scored 11 points and extended its lead to 49-31. The Mavericks went on to outscore the Firebirds, 18-7 in the quarter and took a commanding, 56-35 lead heading into the final period.
Mercy's lead ballooned at 24 when the Mavericks opened the 4th quarter on a 5-2 run, and the hosts would then coast to a 16-point margin of victory.
UDC (2-16.1-7 ECC) will visit league foe Bridgeport on Wednesday, January 18th at 5 p.m.