By 24/SEVENS | January 3, 2018


NEWARK, DE – JANUARY 2, 2018 – The Delaware 87ers (6-15) fell to the Santa Cruz Warriors (13-10) 114-99 at the Bob Carpenter Center in Newark, Del. The game was just a one-point affair at halftime, but the Warriors used a 37-16 third quarter to power past the home team. Newcomer Askia Booker made his Delaware debut and, considering that the Sevens only had eight other guys available, his presence was needed.

Here are three takeaways from the 87ers’ only meeting against Santa Cruz this season:

Askia Booker looked good in his 87ers debut

Booker came over from the Northern Arizona Suns in a recent trade and showed flashes of what he can bring to this team. In 30 minutes, the Colorado product had 11 points, four rebounds and two assists. Head Coach Eugene Burroughs mentioned pregame that one of Booker’s biggest strengths is his ability to get downhill and create for teammates. The Sevens’ shooting struggles contributed to Booker’s low assist total, but Burroughs was spot on with his assessment. Booker’s penchant for getting in the lane will help the team when the shots are falling.

The Warriors allowed nothing easy at the rim

Coach Burroughs made note of the fact that Santa Cruz is built like an old-school team with its big bodies inside. That proved true, as the Warriors played a physical brand of basketball. Some stats that stick out: Santa Cruz was plus-13 on the glass (54 to 41), plus-11 on second-chance points (22 to 11) and were a whopping plus-42 on points in the paint (86 to 44). The 87ers tried all game long to make an imprint on the proceedings inside, but Santa Cruz consistently kept the Delaware drivers and big men at bay. The Warriors finished with nine blocks, but that number doesn’t fully capture how disruptive they were near the basket.

The third quarter proved to be the 87ers’ undoing

At halftime, Delaware was a solid 8-21 from three-point land. The Sevens then went 0-11 from distance in the third quarter and lost the period by 21 points. Delaware finished the game 11-39 from downtown, meaning they shot just 3-18 from three-point range in the second half. Meanwhile, Santa Cruz overcame its early shooting struggles to put the game out of reach. One final stat: Delaware had 15 turnovers to Santa Cruz’s 17, but the Warriors scored 25 points off the Sevens’ turnovers, while the home team only managed 15 points off turnovers. Santa Cruz had eight points off of four Delaware turnovers in the third quarter alone.

The 87ers’ finish up their back-to-back with a home game versus the Erie BayHawks tomorrow, Wednesday, Jan. 3, when the Sevens host Nickelodeon Night featuring SpongeBob SquarePants presented by Reybold Group to benefit CHILD, Inc. Game time is set for 6:30 p.m.