The Delaware Blue Coats came off of the holiday break and fought for a tough 115-110 road win against the Fort Wayne Mad Ants in the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum in Ft. Wayne, Indiana on Friday.
The Blue Coats scoring outburst in the first quarter where the team outscored the Mad Ants 30-17 help propelled the team to the win.
Delaware also went to the foul line often and the team made the most of that opportunity as the Blue Coats went 20 for 21 at the line.
Blue Coats leading scorer of the game was shooting guard Shake Milton who had 27 points, eight rebounds, six assists, one steal and one block in the win.
Point guard Jared Brownridge was right behind Milton as he had 21 points, six rebounds, two assists and one steal in the Blue Coats win.
Delaware’s power forward Cameron Oliver had a double-double on the night as he scored 20 points and collected 11 rebounds. Oliver also had two steals, two assists and five blocked shots in the win.
Blue Coats small forward Haywood Highsmith also had a big night in the win as he had 20 points, six rebounds, two assists and two steals.
Blue Coats Offense on Fire in First Quarter
The Blue Coats offense was hot in the first quarter as the team hit 4-8 three point attempts and they were 6-6 at the foul line. The Blue Coats outscored the Mad Ants 30-17 in the quarter but it would not of happened if the defense did not come to play too.
Delaware had 10 defensive rebounds ( 13 overall), two steals, four blocked shots and caused five Fort Wayne turnovers.
In the first four minutes of the game, the two teams were battling back and forth with the lead.
Around the eight minute mark that would all change when the Blue Coats went on a 19-4 run which would give them a 25-11 lead with 3:47 remaining in the first quarter. Haywood Highsmith led the team with seven points in their 19-4 run in the first quarter.
The Blue Coats would outscore the Ants 5-2 for the rest of the quarter to end with a 30-17 lead heading into the second quarter.
Blue Coats Outscore Ants Again in the Second Quarter
The Blue Coats did outscore the Mad Ants 32-31 in the second quarter but it was not the solid machine as in the first quarter. The Blue Coats were also sloppy in this quarter with six turnovers.
In the last two minutes of the the second quarter, the Blue Coats went on 12-7 run which had the lead at 62-48 at the end of the first half. Shake Milton led the team with four points in that 12-7 run at the end of the half.
First Half Stats:
The Delaware Blue Coats had a 51.1% ( 24 for 47) shooting percentage in the first half and Fort Wayne had 35.8% (19 for 53).
The Delaware Blue Coats had 23 rebounds in the first half and the Mad Ants had 29.
Haywood Highsmith led the Blue Coats in scoring in the first half with 15.
Edmond Sumner led the Mad Ants in scoring in the first half with 13.
Mad Ants Tighten Up Defense in Third Quarter
Blue Coats went up 30-17 in the first quarter, well in the third quarter the Mad Ants outscored the Coats 31-18. The Ants defense shaped up big time in the third with the team holding the Blue Coats to 6-19 shooting. Fort Wayne also pulled down 12 defensive rebounds ( 13 overall), four steals and two blocked shots.
Around the six minute mark, the Mad Ants went on a 27-6 run which decreased Blue Coats lead to 80-79. In the run, Fort Wayne hit five three point shots in a row.
Blue Coats Offense Wakes Up In 4th Quarter
The Blue Coats shook out of the funk they were in the fourth quarter and outscored the Mad Ants 35-21 in the fourth quarter. The Coats started the quarter off with a 13-7 run which was led by Milton who had seven points in this time.
In the last two minutes of the game, the Blue Coats ended the game with a 7-2 run which sealed the win with a score of 115-110. Milton had four of the seven points on the late fourth quarter run.
The Delaware Blue Coats stay on the road as they head to Erie, Pennsylvania to face the Erie Bayhawks on Saturday. Tip off is at 7:00 pm ET.
FG%: DE 48% & FW 38%
3P%: DE 38% & FW 33%
FT%: DE 95% & FW 70%
Rebs: DE 45 & FW 53
Ast: DE 14 & FW 22
Stl: DE 8 & FW 10
TO: DE 15 & FW 17
Blks: DE 9 & FW 8