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College Park Skyhawks spoil Long Island Nets home opener

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Long Island Nets

UNIONDALE - Despite 27 points from Deng Adel, the College Park Skyhawks defeated the Long Island Nets, 120-109, at Nassau Coliseum to give the Nets their first loss of the season.

For Adel, it was another impressive outing for Long Island. In addition to shooting 8-of-12, including 4-of-7 from deep to go with four rebounds, and four assists in 36 minutes of play.

After a scoreless first half, Devin Cannady turned it on in the second half, finishing with 16 points. Jaylen Hands had another quiet outing but played well, scoring 16 points, grabbing two rebounds, and handed out an assist in the loss. He also had five turnover, a continuing problem for the UCLA product.

C.J. Williams, who started the game on a strong note, wound up with 15 points, seven rebounds, and three assists in 36 minutes of play. The Nets other C.J., Massinburg, recorded his first double-double of the season with 11 points and 12 rebounds in 27 minutes of play.

For College Park, Georgetown product Marcus Derrickson had a good outing, nearly recording a double-double with 31 points and nine rebounds.

Brandon Goodwin, the Hawks two-way, recorded 27 points, nine assists, and seven rebounds in 26 minutes of play.

Tahjere McCall, who split time between Long Island and Brooklyn, returned to Nassau Coliseum for the first time as an opponent. During pregame introductions, McCall received a healthy round applause from the Nassau Coliseum crowd and received a warm welcome from the Nets coaching staff and scorer’s table. McCall recorded nine points, five rebounds, and four assists in 26 minutes of play.

Nets coach Shaun Fein started Hands, Cannady, Adel, Wiliams, and John Egbunu for their home opener.

The Nets came out pushing the offensive tempo and did a good job spreading the floor. Following a straight on three by Williams, College Park called a quick timeout with 10:02 left in the first, trailing Long Island 9-2. With 5:47, Nets coach Shaun Fein subbed Jahmal McMurray and Jonathan Kasibabu into the game, replacing Hands and Egbunu.

Long Island maintained their lead for the rest of the first quarter, shooting consistently from all areas of the floor. On the defensive end, the Nets forced the Skyhawks to make tough passes and played good defense. After one, the Nets led 30-23.

Adel led all scorers with 12 points followed by Williams with six points. The Nets shot 11-of-23 from the field (48 percent) and 4-of-11 (36.4 percent) from three in the first quarter.

The Skyhawks started the second quarter pushing the tempo on the offensive end. Following reviewal of Adel’s three, the Skyhawls tied the game with 8:02 left in the first half. College Park continued their aggressive play on the offensive end of the floor while Long Island began to turnover the ball often, leading to College Park growing their lead. With 4:59 left in the second, the Skyhawks called timeout with a two point lead.

After back-to-back three’s by College Park, Fein called a timeout with 2:33 left in the first half with his team down 54-42. The Nets slowly climbed back in the closing minutes of the second quarter, after slowing their offense and being patient, but ended the half down 58-50.

College Park outscored Long Island 35-20 in the second quarter. The Nets, who had plenty of fastbreak opportunities in the first half, only recorded three points on the fast break while the Skyhaws recorded 11.

Adel led the Nets in first half scoring with 18 points on 5-of-7 shooting from the field and 2-of-3 from behind the arc. Hands had a quiet first half, scoring 10 points on 4-of-5 shooting from the field and 2-of-3 from behind the arc. The 20 year-old starting point guard recorded four of Long Island’s 11 first half turnovers.

For College Park, Goodwin led the team in first half scoring with 11 first half points, shooting 5-of-7 from the field and 1-of-2 from behind the arc. McCall had a quiet first half scoring the ball but was played very energetic in the first half on both ends of the floor. He recorded six points on 2-of-5 shooting from the field.

The Nets had their three-ball working to start the second half. Like the season opener, Long Island came out of the locker room at half time, playing with more energy on both ends of the floor. Despite coming out with energy on the offensive end, College Park moved the ball very well on the offensive end, opening wide open three point attempts.

Midway through the third, both teams focused their offense around 3-point shooting. College Parks continued their good ball movement and were patient on the offensive end of the floor. In addition, College Park’s bench was very energetic throughout the third quarter, energizing their players on the court.

At the end of three, the Nets trailed College Park 90-84. Adel continued to lead the Nets in scoring, tallying 26 points on 8-of-11 shooting from the field and 4-of-6 shooting from behind the arc. After a scoreless first half, Cannady scored 12 points in the third to help Long Island stay in the game.

After three, Long Island were outscored 42-28 in the paint and tallied 16 turnovers.

In the early minutes of the fourth, the crowd began to come alive and Long Island started to feed off their energy, playing well on both ends of the floor. In the closing minutes of the fourth, Long Island began to take advantage of opposing fouls.

But with 4:23 left, Long Island closed to within one, but led by Goodwin, College Park outscored Long Island, 17-7 and that was that.

“I thought we were flat,” Fein said after the game. “We had a good lead in the firt quarter and I told our guys in there (locker room post-game) we kind of felt ourselves a little bit We won at Fort Wayne and we came in thinking we would win the game. College Park did a hell of a job They outcompeted us, they outworked us, won a lot of 50-50 balls that our guys would normally get. We will learn from this, we will move on, watch a lot of film tomorrow, but the first thing I said was you got to compete for 48 minutes, not 20 minute games.”

“We turned the ball over too much,” added Adel. “I think we had 21 turnovers. We dd not have too much flow on the offensive end. We still scored 100 points so that’s not a problem but rebounding, defensive rebounding, and locking in the defensive plan we got to focus on.”