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Motor City Puts Another in the Win Column

Motor City Cruise

The Motor City Cruise have been on quite the tear the last month. Winners of five in a row and seven of their last ten, the Cruise would be looking to see if they could set a franchise record by picking up their sixth win in a row against one of the league’s best.

Learning from Mistakes

This one was a tight battle early on. Neither team would put many sustainable runs together. Motor City held a one-point advantage midway through before Delaware finally found something. The Blue Coats went on a 7-2 to hold a four-point lead. With just 2:55 remaining in the quarter, it looked like this one might get out of control as Delaware controlled the game to take a double-digit lead.

After one-quarter of play, the Cruise found themselves looking at a 20-33 hole. Louis King led the Blue Coats out of the gate with 9 early points. Jared Rhoden did just enough to keep Motor City in it by ending the quarter with 8 points.

There is one thing that this Cruise team doesn’t lack, and that is heart, plenty of it. The guys from the Motor City got off and running in the second quarter after an early 11-6 charge led by Stanley Umude. This cut it back to single digits just minutes into the quarter.

The Cruise would near closer to put the game at 42-46 with 7:01 to go before the half. You couldn’t have scripted it any better as they continued to limit the lead every couple of minutes. Motor City would grab the lead but Delaware wouldn’t settle for it as they took it right back with 4:55 left.

After a slow first quarter, Motor City did what they needed to make this a brand new game heading into the locker room. The Blue Coats held a 59-55 lead heading in, but Motor City was in it for the long haul. Umude and Rhoden combined for 19 points in the quarter.

They Never Said it Would be Easy

The early goings of the third quarter would be a back-and-forth affair as both teams weren’t intent on leaving anything on the table. Motor City would cling to a three-point lead with just minutes remaining in the quarter. Not much momentum would be had by either team but it would be the Cruise leading with one quarter to play, 85-79. Defense was a big factor in the quarter for Motor City as they held the Blue Coats in check for much of the third. Rhoden was at it again to lead the Cruise with 11 points. Jaylen Johnson pitched in with 8.

Delaware isn’t one of the top teams in the league for no reason. They would come out and really set the tone to tie it at 87-87 after putting together an 8-2 run just minutes into the quarter.

Motor City would grab the lead right back, however, leading 93-92 with 6:57 left to play. It was clear this one would come down to the wire. The Cruise put it at a two-possession game before King cut it right back down to one.

In quite possibly the biggest moment of the game Motor City would come up big. They put together a big 7-2 run with just under three to play. The lead was then up to 107-101 after Johnson knocked down two free throws.

The Blue Coats defense limited Motor City over the next minute and a half as they cut the lead to just two after King found his way into an easy layup. Then it was Kyler Edwards’ time as he came up with a big dunk to put the lead back to four with just 9.7 remaining. Jaden Springer was awarded two flagrant free throws on Delaware’s next possession cutting it to 109-107. You can call him the man of the night. Jared Rhoden, with an opportunity to put the game on ice, did just that. Motor City shows their grit yet again, they go on to win this win 111-107.

The Numbers

Charlie Brown Jr. led Delaware with 19 points (7-12 from the field) and 6 rebounds. Louis King was big all night for the Blue Coats to finish with 16 points and 7 rebounds. Jaden Springer added 15 points, 8 rebounds and 3 steals. Mac McClung got going for Delaware to provide their offense with 13 points, 12 assists and 5 rebounds. Michael Foster Jr. was impressive with 10 points (5-8 from the field) and 8 rebounds.

Patrick McCaw provided 9 points off the Blue Coats bench. Former Cruise player, Braxton Key, would struggle with his shot most of the night but still added 9 points, 8 rebounds, 5 assists and 2 blocks in big minutes. Justin Smith and Jared Brownridge both added 8 points apiece.

There was no doubt who the leader was for the Cruise tonight. Jared Rhoden had himself a night. Time and time again he would prove pivotal in this one as he goes for 31 points (12-17 from the field, 5 three-pointers) to help Motor City extend their streak. Stanley Umude was big in key moments to finish with 22.

Jaylen Johnson continues to provide a punch for the Cruise as he added 16 points, 10 rebounds and 6 assists. ShawnDre Jones played quite possibly his best game of the year pitching in 16 points of his own.

Buddy Boeheim put together another nice effort with 11 points and 6 rebounds. Trayvon Palmer went for 10. The Cruise knocked down 15 three-pointers on the night. They took care of the ball as well to finish with just 11 turnovers to the Blue Coats 16.

Up Next

Delaware is going to fall to 13-7 on the year in a rare 2-loss streak. They’ll look to see if they can get back on track when they head to Entertainment and Sports Arena to take on Capital City on February 25 and 27.

The Cruise are riding high on quite the tear over the last month as they continue to move up in the standings. They have now won six in a row and sit at 11-11 on the season. They’ll head back to the Motor City to take on the Lakeland Magic who have dropped a couple in a row. It’ll be a matchup to keep an eye on as both teams jockey for position in the Eastern Conference.

Jared Rhoden continues to help lead this team and as we saw tonight the Cruise continue to have guys step up in big moments. Tonight it was Jaylen Johnson who continues to play sensational. ShawnDre Jones, another, as he was big in extended minutes. Motor City becomes a scary team when it can be anyone on any given night.

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