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Firebirds Take Early Lead but Fall Short to the Bulldogs 78-70

Olukanni registered his second double-double of the season leading the Firebirds with 15 points and 11 rebounds.
Olukanni registered his second double-double of the season leading the Firebirds with 15 points and 11 rebounds.

Bowie, MD- The University of the District of Columbia's men's basketball team fell to local division II rival Bowie State University 78-70, in their annual match up on Wednesday night at the A.C Jordan arena. The past five years have seen each team holding down the fort on their home courts with UDC winning in 2016 and 2018 and BSU claiming victories in 2015, 2017 and now 2019. 

The Firebirds were led by Senior guard Zachary Olukanni who registered 15 points on 6-12 FG shooting and a perfect 3-3 at the foul line. He also clutched his second double-double of the season with 11 rebounds.  Senior forward Aaren Smith 6-9 from the field and 2-5 at the three-point line to rack in 14 points for the Firebirds. Sophomore guard Juanye Colon and Junior guard Cheyenne Nettleton also contributed 12 points apiece. 

First half: The Firebirds feared well against the bulldogs in the first half holding them to 26.5% shooting from the field. BSU was however able to capitalize off of fouls going 13-14 at the free throw line. UDC led by 10 points on three occasions but BSU was able to close that deficit to only two points in the last few minutes of the half.

Second half: The Bulldogs were able to not only take the lead but also gain a 10-point deficit on the Firebirds at the 4:13 mark after a made free throw by Yohance Fleming. The next couple of minutes, however, saw three made three-pointers by Smith, Nettleton and Jahmir Marable Williams and two layups and a free throw made by Olukkani to put the Firebirds back in contention trailing by only one point 69-68 with 1:25 to go. The Bulldogs would pull away after a jumper at the three-point line made good by Cameron Hayes and six made free throws by other members of his team to end the game 78-70.

Bowie was led by Cameron Hayes who came off the bench to lead the floor with 23 points going 3-6 at the 3-point line and 6-14 from the field. Bowie improved to 3-4 on the season after this win.

Next up UDC (4-3) will host Slippery Rock on December 1stat 1:00pm at the UDC Gymnasium