PHILADELPHIA, PA– Despite a season-high 38 points from Vander Blue, the South Bay Lakers fell to the Delaware 87ers, 127-123, on Tuesday morning. The Lakers (12-5) forced 22 turnovers but shot only 33.3% from beyond the arc in the loss. Delaware (5-12) was led by James Blackmon Jr., who came off the bench to score 27 points on 6-9 from three as the 87ers grabbed the wire-to-wire victory.
Delaware jumped out to a quick start and led by as many as 13 in the first, but the Lakers rode an 11-0 run to end the quarter to lessen the deficit to two, 29-27, through one. Devin Robinson paced the Sevens with seven points while Blue and Scott Machado combined for 12 points to keep the Lakers close. Robinson scored 10 more in the second as Delaware extended their lead to 60-54 by halftime.
Blue scored nine points in the third, but Christian Wood had 10 points of his own to extend the Delaware lead to 92-83 through three. Blue erupted for 22 points in the fourth quarter alone and Ivica Zubac added 12 points, but the rest of the team couldn’t get it going as Delaware held on for the win.
The 87ers shot 51.2% from the field as seven played scored in double digits, led by Blackmon Jr.’s 27 points. Wood grabbed a double-double with 24 points and 14 rebounds, while Robinson scored 21 points and grabbed nine boards. Darin Johnson (17 points), Shawn Long (12 points, four rebounds) and James Webb III (11 points, nine rebounds) rounded out the scoring for Delaware.
South Bay relied on Blue’s big scoring performance (38 points, two rebounds, two assists, three steals) to keep them in the game, but only had two other Lakers reach double figures: Machado (16 points, eight assists) and Zubac (26 points, 12 rebounds, three assists). Demarcus Holland had his best all-around game of the season with nine points and nine rebounds, while Alex Caruso stuffed the stat sheet as well (eight points, nine boards, seven steals), but the balance of Delaware proved to be too much. South Bay did convert all 18 of their free throws, the first time they didn’t miss from the charity stripe since March 23, 2010, when they hit 8-8 from the line.
South Bay will now take on the Erie BayHawks in the first end of a back-to-back on Thursday, December 21 at 4:00 p.m. PST from the Erie Insurance Arena.