In a game that came down to the final two minutes, the Delaware Blue Coats were unable to finish their comeback efforts on Saturday, Feb. 12, when they lost at home to the Raptors 905, 109-104.
Prior to this matchup, the Blue Coats and Raptors had already seen each other in action a total of three times this season and on all those occasions, Delaware came out on top. However, coming into Saturday night, the Raptors held the top spot in the Eastern Conference with the Motor City Cruise.
“Every matchup with this team is going to be tough and difficult as we are [both] one of the top [teams] within our division, so every time we play them, it’s going to be a hard-fought battle,” Blue Coats guard Jared Brownridge said. “We’ve gotten to know each other very well since we’ve already played them a few times in the beginning of the season, so now it’s more so about who’s going to play harder.”
In the first half, it looked like the Raptors were playing harder, as they took a 2-0 lead less than a minute into the game and, seemingly, weren’t looking back.
While the Raptors went into halftime with the lead, the Blue Coats never let the game get out of their reach, as they were only down 56-50 heading into the locker room. The third quarter played out similarly to the first two, with the 905 holding on to their lead but Delaware was still trying to chip away at it.
In the fourth quarter, their efforts paid off as the Blue Coats went on a late 12-0 run. With less than six minutes left in the game, they took a 96-93 lead. The points that put Delaware ahead were multiple free throws from Brownridge.
Fouls were a big story in this matchup, especially down the stretch when it became a tight game. There were incidents in which both teams showed some frustration during the fourth quarter due to controversial foul calls.
“It’s crucial, but it’s a part of the game. Not everybody’s perfect, we’re not perfect you know, I think the refs are allowed to make mistakes here and there,” Blue Coats point guard Sahq Harrison said. “You can’t hold that against them because some days those calls go in our favor, unfortunately, they didn’t go in our favor tonight.”
Within the last six minutes alone, the Raptors scored 14 points off of free throws, which was enough to edge the Blue Coat’s comeback efforts and give them their first win over their conference rivals.
Despite the fouls in this game, at the end of the day, Harrison gives a lot of credit to the Raptors team.
“You know, that’s a good team,” Harrison said. “[The Raptors] are kind of similar to us, tough and gritty, so it’s basically like playing ourselves. It felt like practice out there. It’s hard to get shots up. It’s hard to stop them.”
After this loss, The Blue Coats get ready for the next opponent coming to Delaware on Thursday, Feb. 17, the Windy City Bulls.
“So right now, we’re just focused on getting rest here. Just get rest and come back and regroup with a couple days of practice, get our chemistry back and come out against Windy City strong,” Brownridge said.”
“We look forward to probably seeing them [the Raptors] later on down the road in the postseason.”
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