WALKER, Mich. — The last time the Delaware 87ers (3-4) and the Grand Rapids Drive (4-5) got together, the Sevens were in catch-up mode after slow starts in the first and fourth quarters.
This time, it was the hometown Drive that were forced to try and climb back into the game, which they failed to do. Seven players reached double figures for the 87ers as they came out on top 118-100 in their first road win of four tries this season, while Grand Rapids saw their two-game winning streak snapped and picked up their fourth straight home loss in the process.
Delaware came out of the gates a bit sluggish and were down 15-9 heading into the first media timeout. The Sevens were just 3-13 from the field and 0-4 from three-point land, while the Drive was shooting 50 percent in both categories.
Whatever Head Coach Eugene Burroughs said in the huddle must’ve struck a chord with his players, because the 87ers quickly went on a 9-1 run in the ensuing three and a half minutes of game action. The catalyst of this spurt was a bit of a surprise: Carlos Lopez. The UNLV product did a marvelous job of backing up Shawn Long, who was hampered by some early foul trouble. Lopez scored eight points on a perfect 4-4 from the field and grabbed three rebounds in five minutes of first-quarter work.
All told, the Sevens outscored the Drive 17-5 over the final seven and a half minutes of the first frame and led 26-20 after 12 minutes.
The second quarter saw the 87ers pick up right where they left off. The team hit their first five shots and started the stanza 8-12 from the floor. In the prior matchup between the two squads, the Drive had an answer for seemingly every Delaware bucket. This go-around, the tables were turned as the Sevens kept Grand Rapids at arm’s length throughout the period.
That 3-13 start became a thing of the past in a hurry. The 87ers shot a blistering 20-37 (54 percent) the rest of the first half and led 60-53 at recess.
The third quarter featured more of the same as three Delaware players quickly climbed into double figures. The team led 84-70 after 36 minutes. The only question heading into the final quarter was whether the Sevens could put last game’s fourth quarter performance behind them.
The 87ers did just that, putting up 10 quick points to increase their cushion. On the other side, the normally-sharp Drive got increasingly sloppier as the game went along. Grand Rapids was called for three technical fouls and one defensive three-second violation, leading to easy points and extra possessions for Delaware.
Three 87ers finished with season-highs, led by James Webb III’s 19. Von Wafer, playing in his second game with the team, racked up 12 and Lopez ended with 14. Both Wafer and Lopez came off the bench in this one.
Additionally, Long and Lorrenzo Wade Jr. authored double-doubles, with Long pouring in a team-high 20 points and grabbing 15 rebounds, while Wade Jr. had 12 points and 10 boards. Finally, the ever-consistent Cat Barber and Dionte Christmas crossed the 10-point plateau as well; Barber dropped 19 and Christmas earned 14.
On the other side, Grand Rapids only had three scorers in double figures, but all finished with more than 20. Kevin Murphy had 29, Jordan Crawford put up 27 and Ray McCallum notched 23.