Delaware Blue Coats take down the Westchester Knicks despite a historic performance from Dylan Windler

Javonte Smart looks to attack the defense. Smart posted a double-double in the victory over the Knicks. - Friday, Dec. 15, 2023. - Photo via Payton Tuorto

It’s a new year but the same ol’ Delaware Blue Coats as Delaware (3-1) picked up their third win out of their first four games to start the second half of the season. They did this against the reigning Winter Showcase Cup champions, the Westchester Knicks by a score of 128-121.

Kenneth Lofton Jr. dominated the game for the Coats. He had 26 points and 11 rebounds after working on the bigger man throughout in the 7’1″ Dmytro Skapintsev. In the game, Lofton Jr. would often go to the elbow with his pivot foot to inch Skapinstev in and it created enough space for him to sink the jumper. 

“These games are tough,” Head Coach Mike Longabardi said. “They are scrappy and extremely talented. Kenny got us a basket when we really needed it. He wanted the ball, so that was good.”

The Blue Coats were in control of the game for almost all four quarters. The Knicks threatened the team in the middle of the third quarter when they went on an 11-3 run that was initially triggered when Darius Bazley got hurt after he was hit in the head.

Bazley would come back in following this run and get two blocks and a shot contest in the paint on one possession and ultimately stopped the Knicks’ run. Bazley would go on to join Lofton Jr. with a double-double as well with 21 points and 11 rebounds.

“He got a lot of blocks tonight,” Javonte Smart said. “He means a lot to the team. He is tall and big. He can create and just make plays hard for the team.”

Smart would also have a double-double in the game with 19 points and 12 assists, consistently setting up his teammates throughout the game. This is coming off Smart losing his two-way status to Lofton Jr. The Blue Coats still tried to retain his services, but he is still playing his game.

“That is a big part of my game,” Smart said. “Not just creating for myself but also creating for my teammates. I always try to leave everything on the floor.”

One of the players Smart consistently set up was Ricky Council IV, who came back down from Philadelphia after playing a game for the 76ers.

“Anytime you get a chance to play for the 76ers it is a great accomplishment,” Longabardi said. “Especially as a young player such as Ricky who is a rookie. We wanna show the other guys on the team that putting in the hard work. When they get an opportunity I want them to make the most of it.”

One of the main players keeping the Knicks in the game was Dylan Windler, who had 33 rebounds in the game, breaking the previous G League record of 31. He also led the Knicks in scoring with 23 points.

He was fascinating tonight,” Longabardi said.

The Blue Coats will have a rematch against the Westchester Knicks on Saturday night, where they will look to slow down Windler’s rebounding this time.

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