Wisconsin Death Trip: Playoff-Bound Sixers Look for Vengeance in Milwaukee

Wisconsin Death Trip: Playoff-Bound Sixers Look for Vengeance in Milwaukee

Perhaps the first truly surprising loss of the Sixers' 2011 calendar
year—not just in who they lost to, but in the incredible magnitude of
the throttling—was their blowout loss three weeks ago to the Milwaukee
Bucks. Blame it on a lack of energy and focus after playing four games
in six days, but the boys were absolutely punked by a scrappy Bucks
squad looking to make a late push for the post-season. It was a
worrisome performance, to say the least, but aside from a late-game
meltdown in Utah the next night and a game-long no-show against the
Kings last Sunday, the team has gotten easily back on track, and as of
last night's beatdown of the Nets, are post-season bound for the third
time in four seasons.

Meanwhile, the Bucks have gone the other way with their season,
losing 7 of their last 11 after the victory against Philadelphia.

Now, with a 30-45 record that sees them four games behind even
the recently-woeful Pacers for the eighth seed in the Eastern
Conference, Milwaukee is all but eliminated from post-season
contention—a disappointing year of basketball for a team who was the #5
seed in the East playoffs last year, and added pieces in the off-season
that they thought might allow them to be competitive with the
conference's big guns.

No matter, though—this is a Philly sports blog, and in
Philadelphia, the news is good. With their 40-36 record, the team is but
two wins away from officially securing the first winning record the
franchise has seen since '04-'05—a modest achievement to be certain, but
one not too many of us were optimistic about reaching in October and
November. The Sixers seem a fairy decent bet to be the #6 seed this year
in the post-season, but with the Knicks having won two in a row
themselves and with another game against Philly before all is said and
done, the Sixers need to stay on their game to keep New York from
closing the 2.5-game gap behind them. (Not that it really matters all
that much, though—the Celtics and Heat toggle the two and three seeds
seemingly every night, and our chances aren't great against either
anyway.)

8:30 tip-off from the Bradley Center. “Now, the fun starts,” said
Elton Brand of securing his trip to the post-season for the first time
as a Sixer, and just the second time in his 12-year NBA career. "Let’s
see how good we can be." Yes let's, EB.

Delaware avenges 36-point loss with upset of Northeastern

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Delaware avenges 36-point loss with upset of Northeastern

BOX SCORE

NEWARK, Del. -- Freshman Ryan Daly scored 27 points and Delaware avenged its worst loss of the season, upsetting Northeastern 69-62 on Thursday night for the Blue Hens' first Colonial Athletic Association win of the season.

Cazmon Hayes added 13 points and Eric Carter 11 for Delaware (8-12, 1-6), which snapped a six-game losing streak that had included a 36-point loss, 90-54, to the Huskies on Jan. 5.

T.J. Williams scored 28 points, the only Huskies player to reach double figures. Northeastern (12-7, 5-2) lost its second straight after an eight-game winning streak.

Three-pointers by Devonne Pinkard and Daly gave Delaware the lead for good at 46-41 with 11 minutes left. A 14-2 run with eight points each from Carter and Daly made it a 12-point lead with two minutes to go.

Delaware made 17 of 22 free throws to 7 of 14 for Northeastern.

Drexel drops to 1-5 in CAA with loss to Elon

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USA Today Images

Drexel drops to 1-5 in CAA with loss to Elon

BOX SCORE

ELON, N.C. -- Tyler Seibring scored a career-high 25 points with seven rebounds and six assists, Steven Santa Ana added 22 points and Elon beat Drexel 93-73 on Thursday night.

Seibring scored 20-plus for the third time this season, hitting 4 of 6 from distance, and Elon led from start to finish. It was Santa Ana's sixth career 20-plus game in just his sophomore season.

The Phoenix hit double-digit 3-pointers (10) for the 10th time this season.

Dainan Swoope scored 16 points, Brian Dawkins 13 and Dmitri Thompson 12 for Elon (11-9, 3-4 Colonial Athletic Association), which hit 25 of 28 free-throw attempts -- including 17 of 18 in the second half.

Elon scored the first nine points of the game and had a 10-point lead at halftime.

Kurk Lee and John Moran each scored 15 points for Drexel (7-12, 1-5). Miles Overton added 13 points and Sammy Mojica 10.