End Game Execution Leads to Energy Win over Skyforce
There was enough in reserve for the Iowa Energy to outlast the Skyforce on Thursday night 101-99 at Wells Fargo Arena. In the process, a long winning streak was snapped.
A physical game took its toll as the conclusion arrived. Both teams had multiple chances to ice the game in the fourth quarter.
In such a tight game there are multiple possibilities for explaining how a game is won or lost. The easy reason came with 4.3 seconds left as a perfectly executed pick and roll from the Energy’s Andrew Harrison (18 points) to Alex Stepheson (20 points, 14 rebounds) proved to be the deciding points.
Leading up to that crucial play was a contest controlled by Sioux Falls (17-4) through the first 24 minutes building a lead of 15 at intermission. Doggedly, Iowa (11-10) used multiple pulses to tighten the screws finally erasing the halftime bulge and forging ahead with 2:38 remaining.
It was a string of eight straight possessions in the closing moments that featured either a tie or a lead change. Nonetheless, the Energy maintained their own winning streak which stands at four.
Iowa’s Joel Wright (26 points) and Lazeric Jones (24 points, 7 rebounds, 6 assists) were also heavy contributors in the win. The Skyforce leader board features Tre Kelley (22 points), Jabril Trawick (19 points, 4 blocks) and Byron Mullens (13 points, 11 rebounds).
Both teams are going back to the hardwood against division rivals one night later. Iowa will host Grand Rapids with the Skyforce meeting Fort Wayne at the Sanford Pentagon.