Sparked by the superb performances of Michael Britt and Earl Jones, the University of the District of Columbia outclassed winless Bowie State early, jumping to a 26-10 lead, en route to an easy 100-68 triumph, before 1,702 chilled fans last night at the D.C. Armory.
Coming off an 86-84 triple-overtime loss at Western Kentucky, UDC (6-7) did everything right in the early minutes. Britt, who finished with 23 points and 17 rebounds, threw in seven quick points and Jones (23 points, 11 rebounds and six blocked shots) had six as the Firebirds grabbed a 19-8 lead before the game was six minutes old.
UDC continued to pour it on, as Jones controlled both boards while Britt and company forced the Bulldogs (0-9) into numerous ball-handling mistakes.
Three Bowie State turnovers, resulted in a Britt backwards dunk, a Britt left-handed layup and Greg Carson (16 points) jump shot from the corner. The outburst gave the Firebirds a 31-12 advantage with eight minutes on the clock in the first half.
"The coach told us not to take them lightly simply because they were a losing team," said Britt, who did all of his damage in 25 minutes. "We don't get a chance to play at home often (UDC played 10 of its first 13 games on the road) and it's good to come back and play well here. We still have a few problems to iron out because we're young. We got off to a good start tonight, working our plays and playing good defense."
The Bulldogs, who suited up only eight men, had neither the speed nor the talent to keep up with the racehorse Firebirds. Almost every Bowie State miss ended up in the hands of either Britt, Jones or Steve Smith. UDC outrebounded the visitors, 65-23.
"We got the good games out of the people who we were supposed to get the good games from," said UDC Coach Wil Jones. "We passed the ball well, blocked shots (11), played good defense (11 steals) and ran our offense. I have to be pleased."
Seven different players scored for the Firebirds in the first half. They shot 70 percent from the field, scoring mostly on layups or short jump shots, and took a 49-32 lead at the intermission.