By Varun Raghupathi, 24/Sevens Insider
NEWARK, DE The Delaware 87ers (13 10) led for a grand total of 49.5 seconds in their final meeting of the year against the Westchester Knicks (11 12). The Sevens led 6 4 early in the first quarter and 103 102 for the final 5.5 seconds of the fourth.
James Webb III’s put back of Cat Barber’s missed layup proved to be the game winner as the Sevens came back from down by as many as 18 points to defeat the Knicks and nba jerseys from china
sweep the season series 4 0. The win also put Delaware two games ahead of Westchester in the Eastern Conference standings.
“We actually wanted to get the ball in bounds, get it to Cat and get into a pick and roll going to his right hand and he did a great job,” said Head Coach Eugene Burroughs. “He turned the corner and James Webb, who I think played a tremendous game, made a great hustle play just to be in the right place at the right time and go for an offensive rebound, which was tremendous.”
For most of this game, it seemed as though the Sevens would fight hard but fall like they did against the Greensboro Swarm on Friday night. But after slowly clawing back into the contest across the third and fourth quarters, Delaware had a chance to take the lead in the closing moments of the game. “I think, for us, sometimes you catch a team at the right time and you get some things clicking.
“Obviously, today we win, you know, on almost like a last second shot. We get a stop to win that game, but I think they played tremendous and we just found a way to win. I don’t think we out played that team tonight. They did a good job and we got lucky down the stretch and ended up making the plays down the end.”
A big part of the win was the play of the second unit. Players like David Laury III, Brandon Triche, Devondrick Walker, Carlos Lopez and Mikh McKinney stepped up when the starters had trouble getting back into the game in the third quarter.
“Those guys have just been playing hard,” Burroughs said. “They’ve been defending; they’ve been sharing the basketball. They just changed the complexion of that game, just watching them go for that period of time where they’re just hustling, and I think they came out and got three stops in a row and made some big buckets. They’re inspiring to our other guys by saying ‘hey, this is how we have to play if we want to win’.”
The second unit player who shined on both ends of the court was McKinney. The Sacramento State product has blossomed into his role as the backup point guard and played his most complete game of the season to the tune of 13 points, three rebounds and seven assists in 22 minutes off the bench. When he exited for the final time in the fourth quarter, his teammates sprung up off the bench to greet him.
“You know, when a guy plays hard,” Burroughs said of the team’s warm reception of McKinney. “When a guy’s out there hustling and doing the right things, you want to cheer for your teammates.
“For a guy like Mikh McKinney, that we picked up late too, initially he’s like a practice player, then he’s on the team and he’s playing minutes and he’s giving it everything he has every time he’s on the floor. It’s worth standing up and clapping for him, because you can see it.”
Webb III had 15 points, eight rebounds and four assists around his late game heroics. Shawn Long added 14 points and 10 rebounds, his sixth straight double double. Walker led the team with 17 points, while Barber finished with 11 and McKinney notched a season high 13 points in the victory.