WASHINGTON, DC – The University of the District of Columbia women's basketball team was defeated by visiting University of Bridgeport, 78-54 in East Coast Conference play Wednesday night at the UDC Sports Complex.
The Firebirds (2-11, 0-4 ECC) battled back after a slow start to draw within six (36-30) at halftime, but the Purple Knights (5-10, 2-3 ECC) went on to out-score their hosts, 42-24 in the 2nd half and coast to victory.
UDC was led offensively by junior transfer guard Mia-Alexis Lloyd with 13 points and three assists, and freshman guard Daeja Quick pitched in nine points, a game-high five assists, and two steals. Meanwhile, freshman forward Desiree Gaeckler came off the bench to haul in a game-high eight rebounds to go with eight points, and freshman guard Danielle Harrington packed the stat sheet with eight points, five rebounds, three steals, two blocked shots and two assists.
Bridgeport, which snapped a three-game losing skid to end the 2017 calendar year, featured five double-figure scorers, including four of its five starters. Still, it was reserve guard Sofia Ermeidou who sparked the Purple Knights with 5-of-8 shooting behind-the-arc for a game-high 15 points in 22 minutes played off the bench. The starters – Samnell Vonleh (14 points, eight rebounds, two assists, two blocked shots), Briana Stoddart (13 points, seven rebounds), Kadijah Dickson (11 points, six rebounds, four assists, two blocked shots), Morgen Caution (10 points, three assists, two rebounds and two steals) and Sarah Middleton (three assists, three steals) – were all productive as well.
The visitors out-shot UDC 55-percent to 34-percent from the field, 56-percent to 30-percent from three-point range, and 71-percent to 58-percent from the foul line.
The Firebirds, as they have done now in several games this season, dug themselves a hole early on, falling behind, 8-0 before scoring their first basket of the game three-and-a-half minutes into the action. Junior transfer guard Natasha Roy (nine points) was who put the Firebirds on the board with a three-pointer on her first shot attempt of the game. UDC only trailed 14-10 with under two minutes remaining in the first period when Bridgeport used a 7-0 burst which culminated in an Ermeidou three-pointer to put the Purple Knights in front, 21-10 to end the quarter.
The two ECC foes traded baskets for much of the second quarter as UB maintained a 10-point advantage approaching the two-minute mark. At that point, Harrington kicked off a 7-0 Firebirds run with a pair of free-throws and capped it off with a layup at the 1:18 mark to bring UDC within three, 33-30. An and-one layup by Bridgeport's Kayla Hill accounted for the final points of the half, but the Firebirds headed to the locker room trailing by only six, 36-30.
UDC kept in striking distance midway through the third quarter as Gaeckler's jump shot at the 5:05 mark kept the deficit at six, 40-34. The final five minutes of the quarter, however, saw UB out-score UDC, 14-2. Caution scored four points, and Stoddart and Ermeidou each knocked down a three-pointer during that stretch, and the Purple Knights took a commanding, 54-36 lead into the final period.
The Firebirds looked poised to make it a game in the 4th quarter as they opened on a 6-0 run, aided by four consecutive points by Lloyd. But following a 30-second timeout, Ermeidou took the game by storm with three three-pointers in a span of less than three minutes, giving UB a 67-48 lead around the five-minute mark. From that point on, Bridgeport outscored District of Columbia 11-6, winning comfortably by a 24-point margin.
Next up for UDC is an ECC road contest at Mercy College on Saturday, January 6th at 12:30 p.m.