Assignees from Memphis Not Enough as Skyforce Defuse Iowa
A short-handed Sioux Falls Skyforce squad dealt a crushing blow to the talent-laden Iowa Energy en route to a 110-99 win on Thursday night at the Sanford Pentagon.
Sioux Falls (13-11) caught fire in the second quarter turning an 8 point deficit into a 9 point lead within eight minutes of game time. The lead gradually grew all the way to 32 early in the fourth quarter before the Energy (10-12) rallied late.
It appears that the three assignees from Iowa’s parent club the Memphis Grizzlies could not cancel out the one addition Sioux Falls made this week in guard Bubu Palo. With only one practice and a walk-through under his belt the rookie had to adapt quickly. Palo says locking down defensively during the middle quarters made the difference. “The effort was tremendous. That was one of our keys. We really wanted to (contain) their guards and contest their jump shots. Once we got that rebound, we’d get out and run. To be able to sustain the effort through the second and third quarter was really great and hopefully something we can build on.”
Those Memphis assignees all came off the bench with Jordan Adams leading the way with 18 points and 9 rebounds, Russ Smith adding 16 points and 4 steals plus Jarnell Stokes providing 12 points and 15 rebounds.
Scotty Hopson willed the ‘Force to the victory with 30 points, 11 rebounds and 8 assists leading the team in all three categories. Although technically it’s a tie in the board category with Shawn Jones staking claim to 11 rebounds also to go with his 19 points. Fuquan Edwin scored 19 and Khem Birch finished with 10 points, 10 rebounds and 4 blocks. Sioux Falls temporarily became Lob City with all the dunks from the Birch/Hopson/Jones combination. Check it out in the video below.
Both teams will have action on Saturday night as Sioux Falls will head on an east coast swing against Maine with Iowa returning home to face the Grand Rapids Drive.
First feast your eyes on Scotty Hopson's career night with some sweet shooting and lobs to big fellas.
Shawn Jones gets some serious action, too included are some blocks, rebounds and great passes.