Firebirds extend win streak to three with 109-106 victory over Bloomfield College in Men's Basketball

1/23/2011, 9:07 p.m.
For the second game in a row the UDC men's basketball team (5-11) surpassed the...
UDC Head Coach Jeff Ruland, in his second season, instructs his players during a critical point in the second quarter of the game. UDC defeated Bloomfield College 109-106 at the UDC Sports Complex in Northwest on Sat., Jan. 22. It's the fifth consecutive win for the Firebirds in their last eight games. Photo by John E. DeFreitas

For the second game in a row the UDC men's basketball team (5-11) surpassed the 100-point mark, outscoring the Bloomfield College Deacons (9-6) 109-106 for their fifth victory in the last eight games.

The Firebirds have now scored 313 points combined in their last three games (all wins), and have now evened up their home record to 4-4. The win against Bloomfield snapped a three-game losing streak to the Deacons that dated back to the '08-'09 season.

In the first match-up between UDC and Bloomfield this season, which occurred back on November 17 in New Jersey, the Firebirds lost 95-90. The Deacons led the entire way in that game, and they got off to an early lead in today's game as well thanks to a 6-0 run that gave Bloomfield a 10-4 advantage with 17:14 remaining in the first half. However, this time the Deacons could not sustain their lead for long as UDC answered with a 10-2 run a few minutes later that was capped by a three-pointer from junior guard Brandon Herbert (Sociology - Baltimore, MD) with 14:14 remaining in the half.

The Firebirds then used a 10-0 run later in the first half to take their largest lead of 12 points with 6:33 remaining, but the Deacons were able to close the gap to just five points at the half, 53-48. UDC shot an impressive 19 of 38 (50%) from the floor and 6 of 15 (40%) from long range in the first half, while Bloomfield shot 18 of 37 (48.6%) from the field and 4 of 15 (26.7%) from downtown. The Firebirds also had two more assists than the Deacons in the half, and had two fewer turnovers.

The second half started out pretty even, with each team trading buckets a number of times. Eventually, the Firebirds managed to get their lead back to double-digits on a dunk by freshman guard Philip Izevbehai (Mass Media - Long Island, NY) with 11:07 remaining in the game, but a 17-4 run by the Deacons three minutes later wiped out the Firebirds advantage, and actually gave Bloomfield a two-point lead. That was the only lead the Deacons would get in the half though, as senior guard Tim Ellison (Mass Media - Alexandria, VA) scored five unanswered points to give UDC the lead for good.

Ellison finished the game with a season-high 26 points, which led the Firebirds in scoring. Herbert was not far behind, finishing with 25 points on 8 of 19 shooting from the field, but five of the eight field goals he made were three-pointers. Junior guard Nigel Munson (Graphic Design - Washington, DC) finished with 24 points and 8 assists, while freshman forward Ziad Ashmawy (Political Science - Cairo, Egypt) added 10 points that included a crowd-appealing one-handed dunk in the second half.

Leading the way for Bloomfield was senior captain Gage Daye, who had a game-high 31 points, but he missed a potential game-tying three-pointer at the buzzer. Senior guard Ryan Rodriguez added 23 points and 8 rebounds for the Deacons.

UDC senior guard Tim Ellison (Thomas Edison High School, Alexandria, Va.) is guarded by Bloomfield forward Robert Young. Ellison was 9-15, 5-6 and led the team in scoring with 26 points. Bloomfield controlled the game until the second half when Ellison scored five unanswered points to give UDC the lead at the UDC Sports Complex in Northwest on Sat., Jan. 22.Photo by John E. DeFreitas
UDC junior guard Herbert Brandon defends the ball against Bloomfield guard Robert Young during the second half of the game at the UDC Sports Complex in Northwest on Sat., Jan. 22. Brandon was 8-9, 4-5, for 25 points. Photo by John E. DeFreitas