SMITH 45 PTS; 87ERS TWO GAMES BACK OF PLAYOFF BIRTH Photos By Saquan STIMPSON

87ers Top Swarm To Keep Playoff Hopes Alive

Delaware 87ers Guard RUSS SMITH (0) knocks down a short range jumper in the first half of an NBA D-league regular season game between the Delaware 87ers and the Greensboro Swarm (Charlotte Hornets) Wednesday, March 29, 2017, at The Bob Carpenter Sports Convocation Center in Newark, DEL

NEWARK, Del. — The Delaware 87ers (26-22) topped the Greensboro Swarm (18-31) 123-114 in a must-win game that keeps the 87ers playoff hopes alive. Russ Smith led the way with a season-high 43 points as the Sevens topped the Swarm for the third time in four meetings this season.

Delaware 87ers Guard RUSS SMITH (0) drives towards the basket as Greensboro Swarm Forward Perry Ellis (34) defends in the first half of an NBA D-league regular season game between the Delaware 87ers and the Greensboro Swarm (Charlotte Hornets) Wednesday, March 29, 2017, at The Bob Carpenter Sports Convocation Center in Newark, DEL

The game began as a battle of starting point guards, with Delaware’s Russ Smith and Greensboro’s Cat Barber trading blows in the early part of the first. Smith put up 10 of the Sevens’ first 12 points, while former 87er Barber scored 11 of the Swarm’s first 13 points. The first quarter stayed close and became a high-scoring affair, ending with the 87ers holding a 36-30 lead.

Greensboro Swarm and former Sevens Guard Cat Barber (7) brings the ball up the floor in the second half of an NBA D-league regular season game between the Delaware 87ers and the Greensboro Swarm (Charlotte Hornets) Wednesday, March 29, 2017, at The Bob Carpenter Sports Convocation Center in Newark, DEL

The Sevens controlled the beginning of the second quarter, leaping out to a 41-32 lead before allowing an 8-0 run from the Swarm. The game was tied at 47 at the midway point of the second, but Delaware outscored Greensboro 18-8 the rest of the frame to take a 65-55 lead into the locker room. Russ Smith had 25 at halftime to lead all scorers.

Delaware 87ers Guard RUSS SMITH (0) dribbles the ball down the floor in the first half of an NBA D-league regular season game between the Delaware 87ers and the Greensboro Swarm (Charlotte Hornets) Wednesday, March 29, 2017, at The Bob Carpenter Sports Convocation Center in Newark, DEL

It didn’t take long for Russ Smith to reach the 30-point plateau. He scored the Sevens’ first five points of the third quarter within a minute to hit the mark. Delaware maintained its lead throughout the period, but Greensboro cut into their deficit by three across the third to make the score heading into the final quarter 91-84 in favor of Delaware.

The Newark Kenpo Karate School Performance

Students from The Newark Kenpo Karate school performs at half time of an NBA D-league regular season game between the Delaware 87ers and the Greensboro Swarm (Charlotte Hornets) Wednesday, March 29, 2017, at The Bob Carpenter Sports Convocation Center in Newark, DEL

Students from The Newark Kenpo Karate school performs at half time of an NBA D-league regular season game between the Delaware 87ers and the Greensboro Swarm (Charlotte Hornets) Wednesday, March 29, 2017, at The Bob Carpenter Sports Convocation Center in Newark, DEL

Students from The Newark Kenpo Karate school performs at half time of an NBA D-league regular season game between the Delaware 87ers and the Greensboro Swarm (Charlotte Hornets) Wednesday, March 29, 2017, at The Bob Carpenter Sports Convocation Center in Newark, DEL

Students from The Newark Kenpo Karate school performs at half time of an NBA D-league regular season game between the Delaware 87ers and the Greensboro Swarm (Charlotte Hornets) Wednesday, March 29, 2017, at The Bob Carpenter Sports Convocation Center in Newark, DEL

Students from The Newark Kenpo Karate school performs at half time of an NBA D-league regular season game between the Delaware 87ers and the Greensboro Swarm (Charlotte Hornets) Wednesday, March 29, 2017, at The Bob Carpenter Sports Convocation Center in Newark, DEL

Students from The Newark Kenpo Karate school performs at half time of an NBA D-league regular season game between the Delaware 87ers and the Greensboro Swarm (Charlotte Hornets) Wednesday, March 29, 2017, at The Bob Carpenter Sports Convocation Center in Newark, DEL

Students from The Newark Kenpo Karate school performs at half time of an NBA D-league regular season game between the Delaware 87ers and the Greensboro Swarm (Charlotte Hornets) Wednesday, March 29, 2017, at The Bob Carpenter Sports Convocation Center in Newark, DEL

Greensboro scored the fourth’s first basket to bring them to within five points, but the 87ers responded with a 10-0 run to give themselves a bit of a cushion. Though the Swarm continued to make things interesting, Delaware kept them at bay. When the score was 102-95, Russ Smith ripped off eight unanswered to give the Sevens a 15-point lead. Greensboro proved a tough out, but Devondrick Walker’s three-ball with 18.8 seconds left iced the affair and gave Delaware a 123-114 win.

Delaware 87ers Guard RUSS SMITH (0) drives towards the basket as Greensboro Swarm Guard Rasheed Sulaimon (0) defends in the second half of an NBA D-league regular season game between the Delaware 87ers and the Greensboro Swarm (Charlotte Hornets) Wednesday, March 29, 2017, at The Bob Carpenter Sports Convocation Center in Newark, DEL

The 87ers had five players finish in double figures. Russ Smith (43), Shane Edwards (18), Walker (13), Roscoe Smith (12) and Terrence Jennings (11) made up the group. Barber had 23 for Greensboro, which was led in scoring by former Kansas standout Perry Ellis, who dropped 25.

Delaware 87ers Guard RUSS SMITH (0) dribbles the ball in front of Greensboro Swarm Guard Mardracus Wade (5) in second first half of an NBA D-league regular season game between the Delaware 87ers and the Greensboro Swarm (Charlotte Hornets) Wednesday, March 29, 2017, at The Bob Carpenter Sports Convocation Center in Newark, DEL

Greensboro Swarm Guard Cat Barber (7) drives to the basket for the easy lay-up in the second half of an NBA D-league regular season game between the Delaware 87ers and the Greensboro Swarm (Charlotte Hornets) Wednesday, March 29, 2017, at The Bob Carpenter Sports Convocation Center in Newark, DEL

Delaware 87ers Guard DEVONDRICK WALKER (2) pulls down a rebound in the first half of an NBA D-league regular season game between the Delaware 87ers and the Greensboro Swarm (Charlotte Hornets) Wednesday, March 29, 2017, at The Bob Carpenter Sports Convocation Center in Newark, DEL

Delaware 87ers Forward SHANE EDWARDS (13) shoots over defender Greensboro Swarm Forward Perry Ellis (34) in the first half of an NBA D-league regular season game between the Delaware 87ers and the Greensboro Swarm (Charlotte Hornets) Wednesday, March 29, 2017, at The Bob Carpenter Sports Convocation Center in Newark, DEL

Greensboro Swarm Guard Damien Wilkins (21) loses control of the ball on the way to the rim in the second half of an NBA D-league regular season game between the Delaware 87ers and the Greensboro Swarm (Charlotte Hornets) Wednesday, March 29, 2017, at The Bob Carpenter Sports Convocation Center in Newark, DEL

Delaware 87ers Guard RUSS SMITH (0) drives to the basket as Greensboro Swarm Guard Cat Barber (7) and Greensboro Swarm Guard Rasheed Sulaimon (0) defends in the first half of an NBA D-league regular season game between the Delaware 87ers and the Greensboro Swarm (Charlotte Hornets) Wednesday, March 29, 2017, at The Bob Carpenter Sports Convocation Center in Newark, DEL

Greensboro Swarm Forward Shonn Miller (32) dunks the ball in the Second half of an NBA D-league regular season game between the Delaware 87ers and the Greensboro Swarm (Charlotte Hornets) Wednesday, March 29, 2017, at The Bob Carpenter Sports Convocation Center in Newark, DEL

Though the Sevens are alive in the playoff race, they have zero margin for error. They are two games back of the final playoff spot and must win their next two games and have fourth-place Maine lose its final two contests. The 87ers hold the tiebreakers with the Red Claws, who have lost three straight and finish the year with a road back-to-back.

Created By
Saquan Stimpson
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SAQUAN STIMPSON

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