WASHINGTON, D.C. (Feb. 19, 2017) – Despite a game-high 22 points from senior Raphael Jennings (Washington, D.C./ASA College), the Mercy College men's basketball team suffered a 79-64 setback to the University of the District of Columbia in ECC action on Sunday afternoon at the UDC Sports Complex.
The Mavericks (2-23, 0-16 ECC) remain winless in ECC play, while the Firebirds (13-11, 10-6 ECC) snap a three-game losing streak at home to Mercy.
Jennings went 6-of-12 from the floor and added three steals and two assists, while senior William Robinson (Mount Vernon, N.Y./Nyack College) finished with 13 points and six rebounds. Junior Kelvin Howard (Temple Hills, Md./Baltimore City CC) netted his first double-double as a Maverick, finishing with ten points, ten rebounds and six steals.
UDC was led by Joseph Nickerson who ended the contest with 18 points, ten rebounds, eight assists and seven steals.
Mercy entered the game looking to win their fourth straight game against UDC in Washington, D.C. and would jump out to a 16-7 lead at the 15:25 mark of the first half, following a Robinson layup. The Firebirds responded with a 15-0 run to take a 22-16 lead with 11:34 remaining in the opening half.
Jennings immediately followed with a three-point play to cut the deficit to three, 22-19, but the hosts built the lead up to seven, 28-21, on a Reggie Sidbury three with 9:22 remaining in the half. The Mavericks quickly responded with a 7-0 run to even the score up at 28-28, but a Nickerson three would start an 8-1 run that put the UDC lead to seven, 36-29, with 4:10 on the clock. Following a Mercy timeout, the Mavericks ended the half on a 7-2 run to get within two, 38-36, heading into halftime.
Mercy looked to have momentum on their side, but the Firebirds came out of the intermission on an 8-0 run to take their first double-digit lead of the game, 46-36, with 18:15 remaining. UDC maintained a 48-38 lead at the 17:31 mark before Robinson answered with four straight points to cut the Firebirds lead to six, 48-42, with 15:58 left.
UDC then went on a 7-0 run to increase the lead back to double figures, 55-42, with 13:22 remaining. The Mavericks had one last run in them as they ensued with an 18-10 run to trim the deficit to five, 65-60, after a Ryan Hickey (Smithtown, N.Y./Dowling College) layup at the 5:49 mark. However, that would be the closest Mercy could get as the hosts then went on a 12-0 run to put the lead up to a game-high 17 points, 77-60, with 2:13 left. The Firebirds held a double-digit lead the rest of the way in securing their tenth ECC victory.
Mercy shot 36.4 percent (20-of-55) from the floor, 26.3 percent (5-of-19) from beyond the arc and 73.1 percent (19-of-26) from the foul line. UDC shot 48.4 percent (31-of-64) from the field, 44.4 percent (12-of-27) from long distance and 62.5 percent (5-of-8) from the charity stripe. The Firebirds held a 39-33 edge on the glass and a 19-12 advantage in bench points.
Head Coach Dr. Jody King and the Mavericks look to bounce back when they host St. Thomas Aquinas College at Westchester Community College on Wednesday, February 22nd at 7:30 p.m.