The Delaware Blue Coats’ winning streak continue as they returned home on Saturday, March 12, and defeated the Long Island Nets 130-120.
This expands their streak to four-straight wins and allows the Blue Coats to keep a tight hold on their second-place position in the Eastern Conference with a solid 16-6 record.
Delaware and Long Island came out of the gate with the same momentum in the first quarter Saturday night, and the Nets even finished the quarter on top 38-37. That changed in the second quarter though, as Blue Coats outscored the Nets by six and went into halftime up 74-69.
“We started off slow, we kept trading bucket for bucket so at halftime we made an adjustment,” Blue Coats’ guard Shaquille Harrison said. “We tried to come out a little more aggressive on the defensive end, and we got the job done.”
The Blue Coats’ defensive adjustment was put on display in the third quarter as they held the Nets to only 24 points. Their strong defense led to offensive opportunities and allowed them to advance the lead to 16 points heading into the fourth.
“I feel like we get so many shots because of our defense. It’s one of those things that we give ourselves opportunities starting with defense, we’re getting buckets in transition,” Blue Coats’ forward Aaron Henry said. “Not to say we can’t score in the halfcourt, but I feel like those points add up quicker and it takes more of a toll on both sides.”
While the Nets did have a small fourth-quarter comeback, they were never able to make anything of it and the Blue Coats ended the night with the victory.
For the second game in a row, the Blue Coats’ starter Myles Powell was at the top of the stat sheet with 33 points, making a huge impact for this Delaware team.
“[Powell is] extremely fun to play with,” Henry said. “He’s a phenomenal scorer, he gets better every day, comes with the right approach and I’m just happy he’s on my team.”
It isn’t just the starters who have played key roles in this Blue Coats’ winning streak though. The team’s depth and talent off the bench have been crucial to their success as they have been averaging 58.25 points over this four-game stretch.
“In order to win these games you got to make shots, you got to have people who score the ball, you have to have different ways to score and we have a lot of different types of guys who can fill those roles and score the ball and play defense and get out and can play the way we want to play,” Harrison said. “So we have a lot of interchangeable positions and actually talented guys who can fill a lot of roles that not many teams can do, so I feel like that’s to our advantage.”
As a part of that lineup off the bench, Henry explains that it’s important to ensure they are producing the same level of play as the starters do.
“We do have a deep bench. It’s been an adjustment for me getting used to it… we have a ton of guys who can create for each other,” Henry said. “When that first group comes out, it’s not going to be much of a drop-off, so I feel like that’s a boost for us, so we try to hold ourselves accountable in order to keep that lead or take the lead over whenever it’s our time.”
The Blue Coats will look to expand their winning streak when they hit the road once again and face the Cleveland Charge in back-to-back games on Tuesday, March 15, and Wednesday, March 16.
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