Delaware Blue Coats Win the First of Two Homes Games Against the Westchester Knicks

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Blue Coats' Paul Reed going up for a layup. Reed would record 25 points and 16 rebounds in the team's 120-109 victory over the Knicks. Sunday, Dec. 12, 2021. - Staff Photographer / Joey Nicolo

This past Sunday, Dec. 12, the Delaware Blue Coats returned home to take on the rivaling Westchester Knicks. This was the second game that Delaware suited up for in 24-hours, as they entered the game fresh off of Saturday’s 107-93 victory over the Capital City Go-Go.

The matchup against the Knicks was the first of two straight home games that they will play against Westchester, as they will host them again this upcoming Friday, Dec. 16. The Blue Coats gained the series advantage as they took a 120-109 victory against the Knicks on Sunday.

The win helped Delaware advance to 10-1 for the year, winning their eighth straight game.

The Blue Coats entered the matchup marginally short-handed, without key players Jaden Springer and Shaq Harrison due to injuries. In their absence, players like Demarcus Holland and Barra Njie saw an uptick in minutes.

Holland, who started for the Blue Coats on Sunday, came into the game with only a limited number of game minutes in previous games. Against the Go-Go on Saturday, he only saw 56 seconds of game action. Getting an opportunity to play more, as he got against the Knicks, keeps Holland on his toes.

“I always just stay ready,” Holland said. “Every day in practice, I make sure I’m getting extra reps. I get in before everybody else, so when my opportunity came, I just tried to do what I do best.”

Holland was able to register two steals on Sunday, which contributed to the team’s eight total on the day. Delaware’s stealing ability has been a major factor thus far in their 2021-2022 campaign, as they average a league-high 14.4 steals per game. While an eight-steal game is well below their season average, the Blue Coats still doubled Westchester’s four steals for the day. 

On the other side of the ball, the Blue Coats were above their season scoring average, 114.6 ppg, and put up 120 points. The team saw scoring production from guys up and down the roster, as six of the ten players who entered the game scored double figures. 

Delaware came out firing on Sunday, putting up 94 shot attempts and connecting on 49% of them. The team struggled mightily from the line, only making 54.5% of their free-throw attempts. Despite this, the Blue Coats were able to get 40 points from within the paint, which served as a crucial element of the victory. 

The team’s two frontcourt stars, Charlie Brown Jr. and Paul Reed, were major factors as they combined for 45 points. Reed continued the dominance that he has displayed since coming back to the G League, as he posted 25 points, 16 total rebounds and seven assists. 

While Reed’s performance stood out on the box score and contributed to the team win, he and his teammates still believe that there is room for improvement ahead of their rematch against Westchester. 

“We let them get downhill a lot,” Reed said. “We can improve on that and turn that off. We let them get in transition and they got a lot of shooters. They were killing us on transition threes.”

After Sunday’s win over Westchester, the team is sitting atop the East Division. However, the Maine Celtics are right on their tail with a 9-1 season record. The upcoming game against the Knicks will be the last of the team’s games before traveling to Las Vegas to participate in the G League Showcase Cup and their last chance to solidify their ranking before the tournament. 

If the Blue Coats can complete the sweep against the Knicks this Friday, that will go a long way to help them remain at the top of their division.

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