The Sevens were definitely feeling the force on the court on Star Wars Night at the Bob Carpenter Center with a dominating 129-105 win over the Erie BayHawks. The Sevens were feeling it on Friday night, where 129 points scored was a season high for the team and Shawn Long scored 45 points in the game his best of the season.
It all started in the first quarter where the Sevens went on early 5-2 run to start the quarter. The run started with a Dionte Christmas three pointer and ended with a Shawn Long dunk.
Then the BayHawks responded with a 10-2 run of the own, gaining a lead of 13-7 with 7:47 left in the first. BayHawks run started with a Stephen Zimmerman free throw and ended with a Zimmerman jump shot.
The first quarter was a game of runs because about a minute later after the BayHawks run the Sevens went on 8-2 run to tie the game at 17 with 5:29 left in the quarter. At the 4:47 mark, the Sevens decided to stop playing around and put the car in drive and took the lead for good in the first quarter with a James Webb III three pointer. Devondrick Walker made two free throws shots at end of the first quarter to put the Sevens up 31-22.
In the second quarter, the Sevens quickly added to their lead with two good David Laury III free throw shots and a layup by Carlos Lopez. The BayHawks were not going away and hit 5 consecutive shots to bring the score within 5 points.
Then at the 9:14 mark in the second quarter, it became the Shawn Long show where he scored 5 consecutive times to increase Delaware’s lead to 43-32. Just like the first quarter Devondrick Walker would end the quarter with the last shot, this time a three pointer to make the score at halftime for the Sevens 63-49.
For the first half the two teams were pretty much identical with Delaware going 46.2% from the field while Erie went 43.9%.
Both teams were 33% at the three point line in the first half.
Shawn Long dominated the first half for the Sevens with 22 points.
Gabe York led the BayHawks with 12 points in the first half.
In the beginning of the third quarter, it looked like the force was with the BayHawks with them going on a 15-4 run to start the quarter and shrunk the lead to three points.
Shawn Long was not going to let the Bayhawks take the lead away from the Sevens even if he had do all the Sevens scoring. Long accounted for the Sevens first 10 points in the 3rd quarter. Then at the end of the quarter for the third time in this game, Devondrick Walker hit the quarter ending shot. This time Walker hit back to back three pointers to give the Sevens a 92-77 lead going into the 4th.
Sevens head coach Eugene Burroughs message to his players was to come out strong for the third quarter.
“My message to the guys is ‘we gotta come out and throw the first punch’ cause we have a tendency to come out in the third and be a little sluggish and slow,” said Burroughs. “They came back and I think it was like a four-point game and then we turned around, made our second run and started moving the basketball. That has been a big emphasis for us is low turnovers and high assists, and today I think we accomplished that.”
In the fourth quarter, the Sevens were in full control of this game and thanks to the Jedi of the night Shawn Long who had 13 points in the quarter. The 87ers biggest lead in the fourth was by 24. The rarity of night was Brannen Greene made the last shot in the 4th quarter for the Sevens and not Devondrick Walker who hit the previous three. Greene sealed the Sevens win over the BayHawks with a 129-105 score.
The star of the night was Sevens Shawn Long who collected his fifth double-double in six games. Long had 45 points and 14 rebounds for the Sevens on Friday night.
Sevens head coach Eugene Burroughs was not surprised about the scoring outburst from Long tonight.
“He’s always been a scorer,” said Head Coach Eugene Burroughs. “In college, he was a double-double guy and he was pretty much a post player and scored around the basket a lot.
“Today, I think he was really effective. He was around the rim; he’s a big-bodied kid. He was rolling to the rim, getting some easy put-backs and offensive rebounds, so the game tonight came easy for him. He was able to make some strong post moves when his confidence was really high and he had a great game.”
Along with Long, four other Sevens scored in double digits and they were James Webb III (13),Dionte Christmas (17), Devondrick Walker (19) and Brannen Greene (12).
Burroughs was asked by Varun Raghupathi, 24/Sevens Insider, “If this was the most complete game the team played all year?”
His response was “I think so,” Burroughs said. “To me, more of how the ball moved and the extra passes guys were making. The big message for our guys today was ‘try to get a teammate a shot’, you know, and I think a lot of guys did that today. They tried to get a teammate a shot, and once that happened the ball moves, we’re a good three-point shooting team, we got some open looks and made shots.”
Also, let’s give a shout out to the 2,203 Sevens fans who showed up for the Star Wars night benefiting the Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children. The attendance of tonight’s game was the highest attendance all season for the Sevens.
Sevens (11-9) have no time to rest as they head to New York to take on the Knicks tomorrow at 7pm ET.
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