In some ways, it was more like an NBA game than a college game last night at UDC's Van Ness Gym, as UDC outraced and outshot Shepherd, 108-89. Both teams ran the fast break in pro style, with many turnovers and transition baskets.
The biggest men on the court made the difference. UDC's 7-foot senior center Earl Jones had 29 points and eight rebounds, and Michael Britt scored 35 points on 16-for-24 shooting; he got nine rebounds.
Shepherd (7-1) had no player over 6 feet 7; the Firebirds often had a front line of three players 6-7 and taller. The Rams came into the game averaging 105 points and yielding 87, but had those numbers almost exactly reversed.
UDC Coach Wil Jones wasn't totally happy. "We're still not playing well," he said. "We got out of our offensive slump, but we didn't play well defensively."
UDC led, 48-38, at the intermission, then the Firebirds' offense really got going early in the second half with Jones' five-footer making it 70-52 with 11:30 to play. Jones and Britt matched dunks for the rest of the game as UDC shot 68 percent from the field for the game.
"We're getting things together," Britt said. "We like the running game. I'm going to the hole better lately."
Shepherd was led by Palmer with 29 points and 11 rebounds; Antoine Makle had 25 points. The Rams had a definite local flavor with 10 of their 13 players from the Washington area.