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Long Island Nets fall to Delaware Blue Coats, 111-88

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The Long Island Nets fell to 6-13 on the season Saturday, losing to the Delaware Blue Coats, the Sixers G League affiliate, on the road, 111-88.

There were not many positive takeaways from the Nets blowout loss. The Nets were without Deng Adel, who is dealing with a sore Achilles, and CJ Massinburg, who is dealing with a lower leg injury. And of course, the Nets two two-ways were unavailable. Henry Ellenson was waived on Friday night and Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot is still with Brooklyn ... and is likely to stay there.

It was clear Long Island were missing the play of Ellenson in particular. On the offensive end, Ellenson led the team in scoring with 20.1 points and rebounds with 10.5 per game. The former two-way served as a stretch 5 role in his 10 games with Long Island, a position Shaun Fein and Long Island are hoping Jonathan Kasibabu can fill.

John Egbunu, the Nets 6’11” big man, led the Nets in scoring, finishing with 18 points and nine rebounds. The former Florida Gator shot 7-of-13 from the field in 23 minutes of play off the bench.

Jaylen Hands recorded 17 points and four rebounds in the loss but had a bad shooting night. Hands shot 2-of-10 from deep and 5-of-19 overall in 34 minutes of play. His game was not without highlights.

Devin Cannady had his worst shooting night, missing all six 3-pointers and going 2-of-16 overall.

As a team, the Nets did not have a good shooting performance in the loss. The team hit only 31 percent of their shots from the field, 29-of-93, and 8-of-37 from deep (22 percent). Long Island also recorded 15 turnovers in the loss.

Shaun Fein and the Nets coaching staff started Hands, Cannady, Kasibabu, Ash Yacoubou and CJ Williams.

Long Island started the game on a 5-0 scoring run but the Blue Coats quickly began to find a rhythm on the offensive end. Delaware focused their offense on the inside, finding cutters and driving the ball. The game was stagnant on both sides until the final minute of the first. The Blue Coats began to hit their three’s late in the first, ending the first with a six point lead.

At the end of one, Delaware led Long Island 28-22.

Cannady tallied four points, two rebounds, and one assist in six minutes of play. The former Princeton Tiger shot 2-of-6 from the field and 0-of-2 from deep. Egbunu had a solid first, scoring four points and two rebounds on 1-of-1 shooting from the field in five minutes of play.

As a team, the Nets shot 9-of-21 from the field (43 percent) and 2-of-7 from three (29 percent).

The Blue Coats started the second playing well on both ends of the floor, especially on the defensive end. Delaware held Long Island to only four points in the opening five minutes of the second. With 6:25 left in the half, the Blue Coats called a timeout outscored the Nets 16-6 in the second. The rest of the first half was all Delaware, ending the quarter extending their lead to 27 points. Delaware outscored Long Island 38-17 in the second. The Nets failed to capitalize off the Blue Coats turnovers. Long Island only scored six points off Delaware’s nine turnovers in the first half.

At the end of the first half, Delaware led Long Island 66-39.

Egbunu led the Nets with eight first half points to go along with four rebounds in 10 minutes of play. The former Florida Gator shot 3-of-4 from the field in 10 minutes of action. Ismael Sanogo played well in the second, providing a spark to the Nets offense finishing the first half with seven points in 12 minutes of play.

As a team, the Nets did not shoot well. The team shot 15-of-46 from the field (33 percent) and 3-of-19 from deep (16 percent). In addition to their rough shooting, the Nets coughed up 10 first half turnovers.

The third quarter was all about defense on both ends. The Nets continued to struggle finding consistent scoring on the offensive end in the third quarter. Long Island scored only 16 points with 4:20 remaining in the third. Delaware scored only 12 points. Despite the slow offensive performance on each side, the Nets did a good job building momentum. Long Island got to the free throw line and played better on the defensive end in the third.

At the end of the third, Delaware led 84-68.

Egbunu continued to lead the Nets in scoring with 14 points and six rebounds. The Nets big man shot 5-of-8 from the field on 16 minutes of play. Cremo played well in the third, finishing the quarter with 11 total points to go along with six rebounds and four assists in 23 minutes of play.

The Nets entered the final quarter shooting 23-of-71 (32 percent) from the field and 7-of-29 from deep (24 percent). Long Island recorded only one turnover in the third.

The Blue Coats double-digit lead was too much for the Nets to overcome in the final 12 minutes of play. Delaware outscored Long Island 27-20 in the fourth, handing the Nets their 13th loss of the season.

The Nets look to bounce back when they return to Uniondale to face the Wisconsin Herd Sunday, January 5 at Nassau Coliseum.