Firebirds Besieged by Bridgeport, 80-61
BRIDGEPORT, CT – The University of the District of Columbia women's basketball team was defeated, 80-61 by host University of Bridgeport in both teams' East Coast Conference season opener Wednesday night at Hubbell Gym.
The Firebirds, losers of three straight, fell to 2-5 overall and 0-1 in league play, while Bridgeport improved to 4-3 overall and 1-0 in the ECC.
Senior guards Natasha Roy and Mia-Alexis Lloyd scored 18 and 13 points, respectively, on a combined 12-of-27 shooting from the field, and they shared a total of eight rebounds, six assists and two steals.
Bridgeport, meanwhile, featured four scorers in double-figures, including a game-high 27 points by Samnell Vonleh. The 6-foot-5 senior transfer from Saint Anselm College shot 10-of-20 from the field (7-of-9 FT) and collected a game-high 12 rebounds. The Purple Knights' 6-foot graduate forward Nkechi Ilang also registered a double-double of 11 points and 10 rebounds.
UB out-rebounded UDC, 47-33 and out-scored the Firebirds, 38-26 in the paint. Plus, the hosts out-shot District of Columbia, 44-percent to 37-percent from the field. Guards Briana Stoddart and Sarah Middleton provided some perimeter scoring with 17 and 10 points, respectively. Stoddart shot 6-of-8 from the field (5-of-7 from three-point range), and Middleton handed out a game-high six assists to go with her double-figure scoring effort.
Roy scored the first bucket of the game to give UDC what would be its only lead of the night, but it was all Bridgeport from there on out. The Purple Knights raced out to leads of 13-4, 18-11, and ultimately 20-13 at the end of the first quarter.
Trailing 22-13 early in the 2nd quarter, Roy scored the final five points of a 7-0 Firebirds burst to bring UDC within two, 22-20. The Firebirds would later force a 24-all tie on a layup by sophomore forward Mia Boyd at the 5:49 mark, but Bridgeport closed out the quarter on an 11-3 run and took a 35-27 lead at halftime.
UDC out-scored Bridgeport, 8-4 over the first two minutes of the 3rd quarter as Roy's three-pointer at the 8:19 mark brought the Firebirds within four, 39-35. Still a four-point game. 41-37 around the six-minute mark, the Purple Knights went on a 7-1 run to extend their lead to double-digits, 48-38. Bridgeport led by as many as 16 points in the 3rd quarter, and at the end of the period the Knights' advantage was 59-47.
The Firebirds opened the final period on a 4-0 run to close the gap to eight, 59-51, but Bridgeport answered with an 11-1 run to extend its lead to 70-52. From there, the Purple Knights cruised to an 80-61 victory – their largest margin of the night.
Next up, UDC will host ECC foe Mercy College on Saturday, December 8th at 1 p.m.