Sioux Falls Skyforce Hold Off Texas Legends
“Basketball is a game of runs.” It is the most uttered phrase by Sioux Falls Skyforce head coach Joel Ableson. His first season at the helm has proven that to be true in numerous ways. The final score of the Friday tussle with the Texas Legends was 101-95 with the visitors from Sioux Falls claiming victory. Two streaks are still intact as the Skyforce (14-10) have won four straight and the Legends (11-13) are on an eight-game skid.
However, within the stark number of the final score was the ebb and flow of a large lead gained and lost by the Skyforce. Twelve straight points at the end of the first quarter enhanced a lead that had already reached double digits for Sioux Falls. At the 1:18 mark of the second quarter the spread was 29 points. Then as Texas did six days earlier, there was The Comeback. After all, these two teams have played heart-stopping, down-to-the-wire basketball in three of four matchups this season.
Texas struggled to score 36 in the first half then exploded for 35 tallies in the THIRD QUARTER to close the gap to 9. The scales tipped to the Legends midway through the 4th quarter when a Sean Singletary 3 pointer made the score 88-86. David Sloan then delivered the blows necessary to vanquish the weary home team in the form of a three-point play and a driving layup on the way to 29 points. Mike Davis also contributed mightily to the effort by scoring 12 and grabbing 25 rebounds. It’s the most boards collected by a Skyforce player since the CBA days as Eric Taylor did the same against the Gary Steelheads in 2002. Nick Davis and Anthony Avent also have 25 rebounds in a single game for Sioux Falls, but 32 is the most in one contest and that was also Nick Davis back in 1999. Also to be recognized not only for his efforts, but also his return to the lineup was Troy Hudson who has been sidelined with a foot injury since late December and put up 13 points in a winning effort.
Texas modified their lineup in an attempt to snap their slide and the new players were stout. Luther Head (21 points), Justin Dentmon (20 points) and Rashad McCants (16 points) were all newly acquired this week. Now that the season series is complete, the Skyforce can be fortunate not to have the Legends on the schedule. Eventually Texas will put it together. For now, Sioux Falls will travel to Rio Grande Valley Saturday night to face the Vipers who won six straight games. The Legends will have a home date on Saturday with the Idaho Stampede.