Skyforce Master Mad Ants and Almost Win by 50 Points
The Sioux Falls Skyforce had a lot go right and the Fort Wayne Mad Ants struggled mightily during the 123-74 blowout on Tuesday night.
Since entering the NBADL, Sioux Falls largest margin of victory was 39 points against Erie on March 13, 2012. Among the biggest blowouts in team history the 49-point spread ranks number two. Suffice it to say any Skyforce team will be hard pressed to replicate the 70-point pasting of the Omaha Racers back on December 13, 1994.
Coach Dan Craig says the Skyforce (27-7) are at a stage of the season where the stakes get higher and the performance has to match.
“We were really specific on encouraging our guys to take the next step forward. We need to be more consistent and playing with championship habits for 48 minutes and I think we did that tonight.”
Skyforce guard Rodney McGruder says the whole team was a part of the victory. Every Sioux Falls player that appeared in the game scored at least 11 points.
“I just felt like everyone took on the challenge today and we competed at a very high level. Everyone contributed from the first guy off the bench to the last guy off the bench and there was no let-up.”
To afford an excuse for the Mad Ants (15-19), some of their problems could be attributed to their travel itinerary. Fort Wayne had played Reno on Friday and the D-Fenders on Sunday with a late arrival to Sioux Falls on Monday. Allowing the opponent to shoot 55 percent from the floor while shooting 29 percent meant impending doom for Fort Wayne.
Multiple spurts in the first quarter pushed the lead to 40-18 after 12 minutes. The lead was double early in the fourth quarter (108-54) with the game firmly in the Skyforce camp throughout the contest.
It took only 23 minutes of game action by Keith Benson to finish with 23 points and 11 rebounds, McGruder had 20 points and Briante Weber had a triple double of 11 points 11 rebounds and 10 assists. Fort Wayne’s Stephan Hicks was the top man with 15 points for the visitors.
Both teams play Thursday. Sioux Falls will be at Iowa while the Mad Ants will host the Westchester Knicks.