WASHINGTON, DC. – A late game surge falls short as the Bowie State University men's basketball team drops a tough 81-77 decision on the road to the University of the District of Columbia on Tuesday night in the UDC Sports Complex. The loss sets the Bulldogs season mark to 4-6.
The Firebirds jumped on the Bulldogs early, opening up an 11-2 advantage in the first three minutes of the game. Following a Bowie State timeout, the Bulldogs responded with a 7-0 run to trim the deficit to 11-9 at the 14:57 mark. Senior Eric Pitts (Baltimore, Md.) drilled a 3-pointer to cut the UDC lead to 13-12 but was assessed a technical foul for taunting after the play.
UDC pushed its lead to double digits (31-21) with 6:01 to go only to see Bowie State close the first half with a 14-8 run, sending the Bulldogs into intermission trailing 39-35.
Everything seemed to be going the Firebirds way in the first 20 minutes of non-conference action but the Bulldogs only trailed by four (39-35) at intermission.
A layup by senior Enuoma Ebinum (Greenbelt, Md.) cut the Firebirds lead to 45-44 and a thunderous dunk at the 15:48 mark of the second half by Ebinum gave the Bulldogs their first lead at 46-45. Unfortunately, that lead didn't last long. After a UDC timeout, the Firebirds answered with an 8-3 run to regain the lead at 53-48.
With UDC holding a 53-51 lead at the 12:56 mark, the Firebirds went on a 5-0 run to give the home team a little breathing room. Bowie State went almost five minutes without a field goal until Dayshawn Wells (Baltimore, Md.) scored on a layup with 7:34 remaining.
A Michael Briscoe (Waldorf, Md.) layup at the 6:08 closed the Bulldogs within two (63-61) forcing the Firebirds to burn a timeout. As the case most of the night, UDC answered the Bowie State threat with a 6-0 run for a 69-61 advantage with just under five minutes to go in the contest.
A pair of free Ahmaad Wilson (Baltimore, Md.) free throws combined with buckets by Briscoe, senior Brian Kelley (Lanham, Md.) and Wells, narrowed the Bowie State deficit to 74-70 with 1:30 left on the clock. The Bulldogs surge continued over the next minute on a BSU 7-4 run to pull within one at 78-77 with 16 seconds remaining in the game. From that point, the Bulldogs had to foul in order to get the ball back. However, the Firebirds converted three of its four final free throws to seal the win.
Briscoe led five Bulldogs in double figure scoring with 14 points followed by Wilson with 13 and Ebinum with 12. Wells and Kelley finished the night with 11 and 10 points respectively. The Bulldogs out-rebounded the Firebirds 45-39 and Ebinum along with senior Khary Doby (College Park, Md.) grabbing nine rebounds apiece.
Free throws were a tremendous problem for Bowie State and made a difference in the game, converting a disappointing 23-of-34, which included 17-of-25 in the second half.
The University of D.C. (4-5) was led by the trio of Traevon Butler (Lakewood, N.J.), Reggie Sidbury (Landover, Md.) and Joseph Nickerson (Newark, N.J.) with 20, 19 and 14 points respectively. Kyle Williams (Freeport, N.Y.) pulled down a team-high seven rebounds to go along with seven points.
Bowie State will close out non-conference regular season play on Sunday (December 18th), hosting nationally ranked #16 Kutztown (Pa.) University at 3 p.m.