On Saturday night the Sioux Falls Skyforce put together a valiant effort, but came up short against the Fort Wayne Mad Ants 103-96 at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum as 4,012 witnessed. 

“No excuses.”  That’s the most common phrase uttered in the Skyforce camp this season.  After all the miles this week and extra court time in one of those games, the goal is to win every time on the court.  From Tulsa on Tuesday to Austin Wednesday then Sioux Falls Friday finally Fort Wayne Saturday was the most challenging stretch of games on the 2013-14 Skyforce schedule.  The first two were blow outs and the second two were nail biters.

Germaine to the game in Fort Wayne was the fact that neither team got much separation.  Both teams had their time in front, but the quarter of truth tipped the balance to the Mad Ants (21-13).  Sioux Falls (20-15) took a slight edge in overall shooting from the field, 42 to 40 percent for Fort Wayne, but the Mad Ants did slightly better from long range.  Seven more connections from downtown proved the statistical edge as rebounds and turnovers were a virtual wash.

Fort Wayne’s Sadiel Rojas and Tony Mitchell both posted double-doubles in points and rebounds each scoring 23 with Rojas grabbing 14 boards to Mitchell’s 12.  Meanwhile a big fourth quarter from Justin Hamilton kept the Skyforce in the hunt.  As 11 of his 20 points came in the final stanza along with 4 of his 9 rebounds.  Henry Walker and Anthony Mason, Jr. each put up 18 points.  Watch below for some tough work done inside by the 'Force and Alex Oriakhi going strong to the goal.

Possible playoff implications loom as a result of this game.  The Mad Ants take the season series 3 games to 2 and earn a head-to head tiebreaker should the need arise.  A brief respite arrives for Sioux Falls with games on the road next Friday and Saturday in Delaware and Erie respectively.  The turnaround for Fort Wayne is significantly quicker as they play on the road at the Iowa Energy on Sunday.