The University of the District of Columbia Firebirds Womenâ€™s Basketball Team
is ranked 25th in the country in the most recent USA Today /ESPN Division II Top Coachesâ€™ Poll, released on Jan. 6. This is the first time, ever, that the team has been so highly ranked in this poll. The Firebirds are 12-2 for the 2008-09 season after defeating Mansfield State College, 73-45, in Mansfield, Pa.
The team is led by senior guard LaQuanda Brandon (Washington, DC), who is averaging 14.7 ppg, and sophomore center Lillian McGill (Sumter, SC) averaging 14.2 ppg. Brandon is currently ranked 9th among DII schools in free-throw percentages with a 94.3 completion rate. McGill is ranked 13th in rebounds per game, averaging 11rpg. She is also ranked 18th in field-goal percentages, with a completion rate of 57.8 ppg.
Other leading scorers for the Team include senior forward Deyshia Williams (Camden, NJ), who averages 11 ppg, and senior guard DeVaughn Hailey, averaging 8.2 ppg. Another stand-out player is junior guard Nicole Cooper (Fort Washington, MD), who is ranked 36th in the country in three-point field-goal percentage, with a 44 percent completion. Overall, the Team averages 73 points per game, compared to their opponentsâ€™ 60.7 ppg.
UDC competes as an NCAA Division II Independent school. The Firebirds won the 2008
Independent Schools Tournament last year and received 17 votes in the 2008-09 Pre-season USA Today / ESPN Poll.
Head Coach Lester L. Butler, Jr., says about his teamâ€™s ranking, â€œwe are extremely happy that we have been ranked 25th in the country in this prestigious Poll. We received votes in each preceding poll this year and are grateful that our effort to set goals at the beginning of the year to become ranked is being realized.â€
â€œWe are looking forward to the regional rankings in late January to see where we stand in the Atlantic Region, because the top 8 teams in each region are selected for the coveted berths in the NCAA DII Tournament. As an independent school, to be ranked 25th is a high honor for the program and the University. We look forward to continued success during the remainder of the season.â€