Delaware Blue Coats close out a busy weekend with 119-116 win over Motor City Cruise

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Jarron Cumberland talks to the coaches. Cumberland scored 20 points and recorded eight steals in the win on Sunday. - Friday, Feb. 23, 2024. - Photo via Payton Tuorto

The Blue Coats took on the Motor City Cruise on Sunday, Feb. 25, for their third game in four days. After coming off back-to-back wins against the Grand Rapids Gold, the Blue Coats won their third game in a row with a 119-116 victory over the Cruise.

In the last game, the Blue Coats got 43 points from Kenneth Lofton Jr. This game, they had a more balanced attack offensively, with Delaware receiving significant contributions from all members of their starting five throughout the game, as every starter finished with at least 18 points.

The standout player for Delaware was Jared Brownridge, who was the leading scorer with 24 points on a season-high seven threes.

Jarron Cumberland also had a huge game for the Blue Coats, scoring 20 points, although on an inefficient 5-15 shooting from the field. Cumberland was the player the Blue Coats consistently went to at the end of the game when Motor City intentionally fouled the team. He went 8-9 from the free throw line, including the ones that iced the game.

Not only was Cumberland huge on the offensive end, but he also made significant contributions on the defensive end, recording a season-high eight steals, surpassing the season-high seven steals he recorded on Thursday. The defensive energy Cumberland, Aminu Mohammed, and Melvin Frazier Jr. brought went a long way for the Blue Coats against the Gold.

“I am an energy guy,” Cumberland said. “I have to bring energy every game. I know what I have to do on the court.”

With only a seven-player rotation coming into the game, the team needed Cumberland’s energy. The number of games they played in such a short amount of time left the team fatigued coming into the game.

“[Fatigue] played a part,” Cumberland said. “We know we have seven guys right now. We have to come in and play our role. We cannot play out of character.”

One player who seemed to be playing with tired legs was Terquavion Smith. This was evident throughout the game and reflected in the stat sheet, as he finished 2-10 from beyond the arc. Towards the end of the game, he was frequently replaced by Pat McCaw on the defensive end of the floor. Despite this, Smith still finished with 23 points and a team-high seven assists and earned praise from his coach.

“He has been good,” head coach Mike Longabardi said. “He always has got energy, he is always positive, his shooting is not as good as it’s gonna be from a percentage standpoint. He always makes big plays for us, and we like that about him.”

The Blue Coats are currently the number one team in the Eastern Conference, but as defending champions, they are not satisfied.

“Wins are good, we are not giving them for sure,” Longabardi said. “One thing we saw is there are things we can get better at, it could really take us to the next level.”

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