SANTA CRUZ, California – The Los Angeles D-Fenders defeated the Delaware 87ers 116-96 tonight in Santa Cruz, CA.
Vander Blue paced the D-Fenders (8-17) with 34 points, connecting on 13-of-25 field-goal attempts, as well as handing out 10 assists and grabbing eight rebounds. Jabari Brown followed suit with 29 points, three rebounds and two assists. Roscoe Smith recorded his league-leading 18th double-double of the season with 15 points and 10 rebounds, while Andre Ingram tallied a season-high 14 points and nine rebounds. Keith Appling also reached double figures with 13 points, five rebounds and four assists.
Jared Cunningham led the 87ers (8-13) with 18 points, followed by Victor Rudd with 17. DJ Seeley (16 pts, three rebounds), Drew Gordon (13 points, 12 rebounds) and Melvin Johnson (12 points) also scored in double digits for Delaware.
Los Angeles was firing on all cylinders early in the contest, outscoring the 87ers 33-20 in the first quarter behind 11 points from Brown and nine from Blue. The second quarter was a similar story, with the D-Fenders outscoring the 87ers 30-18 and taking a 63-38 lead into the halftime break. At the half, Brown led all scorers with 19 points, followed by Blue with 15 and Smith with 10 points and seven rebounds for L.A. Cunningham was the lone 87er in double-figures with 12 points. The 38 points for the 87ers was an opponent first half low for the D-Fenders, who held Delaware to 32.6% shooting in the half.
Delaware started the third quarter on a 13-3 run, but Los Angeles would finish strong and outscore the 87ers 27-25 on the quarter. Lee was hot for Delaware, scoring 10 points in the third, while Blue finished with eight for the D-Fenders. The 87ers would put up a fight in the fourth quarter, shooting 61.9% and outscoring the D-Fenders 33-26. The late rally would come up short however, as Los Angeles held on to a convincing 116-96 victory. Blue was the difference in the second half for Los Angeles, finishing with 19 points, five rebounds and five assists on the half.
Los Angeles shot .500 on the night, compared to .420 for Delaware. The D-Fenders hit 22-of-26 FTA’s, while the 87ers tallied 12-of-19. Los Angeles would grab 50 rebounds compared to 35 for Delaware. The 38 points scored by Delaware in the first half is an opponent season-low for L.A., as is the 96 total points.
The D-Fenders host the Santa Cruz Warriors in Ontario, CA on Wednesday, January 21st at 7:00pm PT.