Sparkill,NY — SPARKILL, NY – Playing against a St. Thomas Aquinas squad needing a win to capture an East Coast Conference regular season championship, the University of the District of Columbia men’s basketball team was defeated, 99-78 in its 2014-15 season finale Saturday afternoon at Aquinas Hall.
The Firebirds (5-23, 5-15 ECC) were led by junior transfer forward Geran Pope (Political Science – Washington, DC/Virginia Union), who registered his 5th double-double of the season with 15 points and 15 rebounds. Senior guards Michael Terry (Criminal Justice – Philadelphia, PA/Boston U) and Quasim Jones (Mass Media – Philadelphia, PA/Johnson CC), playing their final games as Firebirds, registered 15 and 14 points, respectively.
(Courtesy of UDC)
St. Thomas Aquinas (20-10, 17-3 ECC), which won its 4th straight game to clinch the regular season conference title, had seven scorers reach double-figures, including a game-high 16 by Alushula Odongo.
The Spartans shot a blistering 60-percent (33-of-55 FG) as they out-scored UDC 50-34 in the paint. They also feasted at the free-throw line, making 28-of-39 attempts (72-percent).
The Firebirds tried to keep pace early as a Reggie Sidbury three-pointer brought them within two, 10-8 nearly two minutes into the game. STAC took control of the game at that point, however, as they stormed out to a 22-7 run, culminating in a three-pointer by Aaron Cust to put the Spartans up 32-15 just before the 10-minute mark. Then, already trailing 36-21, UDC allowed STAC to close out the half on a 22-8 march, as the hosts took a commanding, 58-29 lead into intermission.
From there, STAC cruised to a comfortable, 21-point victory to complete the season sweep of UDC and capture the No. 1 seed in next week’s ECC Tournament.
UDC, with all five of its wins coming in ECC play this season, finished next to last in the league standings. The Firebirds’ five wins this season under 2nd year head coach Mike Riley was still an improvement upon last year’s mark of 3-23 (1-19 ECC).