Delaware Blue Coats cannot complete back-to-back sweep, lose by 41 to Spurs

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Marcus Bagley plays tight defense. The 22-year-old led the Blue Coats in scoring on Saturday, Feb. 10 against the Spurs. - Wednesday, Nov. 22, 2023. - Photo via Payton Tuorto

Playing on back-to-back nights, missing all three of their two-way guys, and missing Melvin Frazier Jr. due to personal reasons was a recipe for disaster for the Delaware Blue Coats against the Austin Spurs on Saturday, Feb. 10. They lost by a score of 128-87 at Chase Fieldhouse, and the 87 points scored was a season-low for the team.

The biggest X-factor in the game was Austin’s stellar three-point shooting. The two main keys for the Spurs cruising to victory were RaiQuan Gray and the fact that they shot 48.5 percent from beyond the arc. Gray frequently used his size to score at will inside the paint, finishing with 22 points and 13 rebounds.

The Blue Coats looked disjointed on offense throughout, and they didn’t get many open looks from any area of the court. When they did get the looks they coveted, they simply did not convert on those opportunities, shooting just 30.6 percent from the field and 24.5 percent from three-point range.

The Coats have been unsuccessful in back-to-backs throughout the season. The only set in which they won both games was their most recent one against the Wisconsin Herd on Jan. 26-27. Whenever the Blue Coats have had a tough loss, they have had a short memory and come back the next game with a vengeance, often getting the win. They have only lost two games in a row twice throughout the whole season.

“It was tough. I think we didn’t have the legs tonight, but that’s the league, no excuses,” forward Marcus Bagley said. “We’re going to flush this one and get ready for the next one in New York.”

Bagley was the Coats’ best player throughout the game, leading the team with 20 points. Bagley usually comes off the bench, but he started this game because of Frazier Jr. being out.

“Next man up mentality,” Bagley said. “[Melvin Frazier Jr.] he is dealing with some stuff. I had to step up into the starting lineup and do the best I can.”

It was a revenge game for former Blue Coat David Duke Jr., who started the season with Delaware and was eventually offered a two-way contract with the San Antonio Spurs. The Blue Coats already had three two-way guys in Terquavion Smith, Ricky Council IV, and at the time Javonte Smart, so they lost Duke Jr. to a team that needed him more in the Spurs.

Duke Jr. has averaged 18.2 points per game for an Austin Spurs team who is currently the last team on the outside looking in for the playoffs, as they sit just one game behind the final postseason spot. He has also gotten some run for the San Antonio Spurs, where he is averaging 3.7 points per game in just under ten minutes a night. On Saturday, he was able to score 12 points against his former squad.

The Blue Coats will now hit the road for their next game before the start of the All-Star break. Former Blue Coat and now current member of the Osceola Magic Mac McClung will be defending his dunk contest championship that he won while he was with the Blue Coats last season. The Coats’ first game following the All-Star break will be against the Grand Rapid Gold on Jan. 22 at 11 a.m.

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