NEWARK, Del. — The Delaware 87ers (11-25) lost in grueling fashion to the Greensboro Swarm (12-24) by a final score of 119-114. The Sevens led by as many as 11 in the third quarter, but the Swarm’s veteran players, namely 38-year-old Damien Wilkins, iced the game late. The 87ers scored at least 30 points in each of the first three quarters but could only muster 22 points in the fourth and fell for the second time this year to the Swarm.
Here are three takeaways from the 87ers’ third matchup with Greensboro:
Second chance points doomed Delaware
The 87ers shot the ball really well (nearly 49 percent), so the fact that they were minus-4 on the offensive glass isn’t necessarily a big deal. What is a big deal is the second chance points category: Greensboro outscored Delaware 21-6 in it. In a game where most of the stats were dead even, this one stood out. The Swarm turned 13 offensive rebounds into nearly quarter’s worth of production. Even though the Sevens were plus-8 in points off turnovers, it wasn’t enough to overcome the deficit on the offensive boards.
This game felt like one the Sevens were going to win
The 87ers shot 49 percent from the field, 37 percent from three (10-27) and 76.5 percent from the line (26-34). They committed only 14 turnovers — which became just 13 Greensboro points — and had the offense humming at times. You put all those numbers together and you assume Delaware was going to get this one, but egregious miscues down the stretch cost the team what would have been their 12th win this season. Shawn Long had 25 and 14, Christian Wood poured in 28 and Askia Booker had 11 assists to go along with 10 points. Delaware has to put 48 minutes together against every team in this league, no matter their opponent’s record.
Greensboro’s veterans got it done late
Well, it was mostly Greensboro’s veteran Wilkins. Much like Emeka Okafor didn’t look like a 35-year-old, Wilkins doesn’t cut a 38-year-old figure. He’s been around for so long and seen so much that it was obvious the Swarm was going to him late. He drew a couple of fouls on Devin Robinson, sunk key free throws and finished with 27 points to pace his team. Wilkins, a former Sixer, added six rebounds and five assists.