FINAL SCORE: Apprentice School 90, Univ. District of Columbia 88
RECORDS: Apprentice School 4-4, UDC 0-8
LOCATION: Apprentice Athletic Center/Newport News, VA
IN BRIEF: Junior Jay Melendez scored 20 points to lead five in double figures on Saturday afternoon as the Apprentice School held off a second half charge from the UDC Firebirds for a 90-88 win in the 2014-15 home opener.
ON THE COURT
- The visiting University of District of Columbia Firebirds soared out to a 14-8 lead with 15:34 left as Kory Cooley drained a 3-pointer. Apprentice School worked back into the game tying it at 14-all on a Shaun Johnson jumper with 13:48 left.
- That run turned into a 19-7 spurt over a 5:14 span as a 3-pointer from Jay Melendez with 10:20 left to push the advantage to 27-21.
- The advantage stayed in that range for the next few minutes before the Builders used a 12-2 run over a 2:39 span to take a 43-29 lead on a Melendez dunk with 5:58 left.
- In the second half, the Builders took a 13-point advantage with 13:14 left on a Tony Walton layup to lead 65-52. The Firebirds used a 19-8 run over a 6:12 span to get the margin to 73-71 on a Cooley jumper with 7:02 left.
- Each team traded runs in the final seven minutes as the Builders pushed the lead to 86-77 with 1:15 left on a Cameron Perry free throw. The Firebirds got it to the final of 90-88 with a 3-pointer from Michael Terry with six seconds left.
- The guests had one last shot after a pair of missed free throws by the Builders as Terry drove the lane and had his shot blocked by Jamal Curry to end the game.
BEHIND THE BOXSCORE
- Melendez topped the Builders with 20 points and nine rebounds to lead five in double figures. Walton added 14 points and six rebounds, while JOhnson had 12 points. Johnnie Ferebee added 11 and seven rebounds, while Lavonte Thomas chipped in with 10 and three steals.
- UDC had a pair lead them with 30 points each as Terry had 30 and nine rebounds, while Cooley had 30 and five steals.
- Bench play proved to be huge for the Builders as Walton and Johnson came off the bench to score in double figures. The Builders held a 43-13 advantage in points from the bench along with a 54-34 advantage in points in the paint.
- The win over the NCAA Division II Firebirds was the first for the Builders over a NCAA Division II team since defeating Claflin University 66-57 at the Elizabeth City State Thanksgiving Classic on November 23, 2012.
The Builders now have a pair of classics to close out the 2014 portion of their schedule. The first one will be in West Palm Beach, Florida as they'll participate in the Northwood University English Family Classic. On Friday night they'll face the host Seahawks who are ranked #5 in NAIA Division II and are coached by former College Basketball Hall of Famer Rollie Massimino at 7 pm.