Close Call for Skyforce in Duel with Delaware
After taking the first three quarters to pile up a significant lead, the Sioux Falls Skyforce had to hold tight to defeat Delaware 111-107 at the Sanford Pentagon on Friday night.
Though never surrendering the lead in the whole game, only once was the Skyforce (2-1) lead in serious jeopardy. From the opening 10-2 burst the 87ers (0-4) played catch-up for the entire 48 minutes. The point spread at the end of three stanzas was 20 and met the high water mark at 22 early in the 4th.
Delaware’s only bid for the lead glanced off the rim with 29.9 seconds left when Jacob Pullen’s pull up three point attempt missed the mark. From there, the Skyforce preserved the win at the free throw line.
In an overall sense, Skyforce Coach Nevada Smith saw both sides of the coin. “It showed in stretches how good we can be. We showed in stretches that we need to take every play independently. We can’t think about what happened on the last play, five plays before or what happens on the next play. We’ve got to do a better job of capitalizing on every situation.”
A.J. Hammons who is on assignment from the Miami Heat said in the fourth quarter the team lost focus somewhat. “When we get that lead we need to stay locked in as a team. Myself personally I’ve got to stop fouling and get in better position. We’ve got to have better communication between teammates. There were a couple times I know what I should have done, but was slow to rotate.”
Four players piled up double digit points for Sioux Falls beginning with Torrey Craig’s 37 with 8 rebounds, 20 points, 10 rebounds and 3 blocks from Erik McCree, 14 points and 6 rebounds by Hammons while Larry Drew II mustered 13 points and 9 assists.
The NBA comeback trail continues for former NBA Rookie of the Year Emeka Okafor who has been sidelined for multiple years with a neck injury, but led the Sevens with 25 points and 9 boards. Pullen closed with 24 points, Mike Young scored 15 and James Blackmon, Jr. had 13 points.
Delaware will return home for a Wednesday night contest with the Windy City Bulls. Sioux Falls will strap it on tonight (November 11) and face the Salt Lake City Stars.