In a fresh start to the week this past Sunday, March 27, the Delaware Blue Coats captured a 125-118 victory over Detroit’s Motor City Cruise.
Throughout the 48 minutes of play, the fans in Wilmington were treated to drama, big shots and intense moments.
It all started with back-and-forth action in the first quarter, which saw four lead changes. Delaware carried a narrow 30-28 lead into the second frame, which was when all mayhem began to break out.
The Blue Coats extended their lead to as many as 23 points in the second quarter, which was powered by Myles Powell’s 23 first-half points. Unfortunately, those would be the only points for the 6-foot-2-inch guard for the day, as he was ejected from the game with two technical fouls at the end of the half.
Motor City’s Head Coach DJ Bakker was also assigned a technical foul after he and his players engaged in an intense exchange of words with the Blue Coats’ personnel.
“It was competitive out there,” Blue Coats guard Shamorie Ponds said. “Guys are talking, and it is a part of the game. It’s just basketball at the end of the day.”
The war of words may have simmered down in the second half, but the intensity of the game did not. In the third quarter, the Cruise began to mount a comeback as they cut their deficit down to 16 points in the quarter. It was the fourth quarter, though, when they made their run.
The closest the game got was 114-111 in favor of the Blue Coats with 2:49 left to play in the game, but Delaware stood strong and refused to relinquish their lead.
Ponds scored six points in the final two minutes of action, which was highlighted by a big, three-point shot that made it a three-possession game. Ponds ended the game with 28 points and was named the Specialist of the Game.
“As the game goes on, you just have to adjust,” Ponds said. “When Myles [Powell] went down, it gave us some kind of boost. We just wanted to win.”
Winning was the end result of the night, as the 125-118 victory helped Delaware advance to 20-9 for the season. This gives them possession of the third seed in the Eastern Conference, putting them two games behind the first-seeded Raptors 905.
However, the win gave the Blue Coats much more than the three seed; it gave them confidence and momentum as they move forward with the regular season.
“It feels pretty good,” Blue Coats forward Aaron Henry said. “Especially against a team like that. Just to be able to come through despite the skid we have been going through. It was big for our locker room, understanding that they are a playoff team and we won playing our game.”
Henry’s teammate, guard Demarcus Holland, had similar comments regarding the victory.
“Getting closer to the playoffs, us playing at our best like we did today, is what we want to do,” Holland said. “Beating a team as good as [the Cruise] is something great for our confidence going forward. We proved to ourselves we can still play at that high standard.”
Delaware has three regular-season matchups remaining before the playoffs tipoff. They have already clinched a playoff spot, so they will be battling for seeding and momentum from here on out. Their next game will be a rematch against Motor City at home this Tuesday, March 29, at 11 a.m.
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