Skyforce Slip by Raptors 905 to Sweep Season Series
For the first time in ten years, the Sioux Falls Skyforce have won 10 straight games. The latest came down to the final seconds in a victory over Raptors 905 by the score of 102-101 on Tuesday night at the Sanford Pentagon.
Spending most of the game in the lead, Sioux Falls (17-3) built a 17-point edge in the first half. As the game continued, the 905 (5-17) would chip away at the lead.
By late in the third quarter, the game was tied at 75 and the game would eventually come down to critical fourth quarter plays. The difference would be who would put together that last push or at least make a final stand.
With five seconds remaining and Raptors 905 with the ball down by a point a shot left of the paint by Scott Suggs had the distance but not the direction and the game concluded. Even though the 905 will likely not make the playoffs, Coach Dan Craig says the amount of games between the two teams had that type of feel. “They know what you’re trying to do, we know what they’re trying to do. It really comes down to execution and the little details on both sides of the floor. The x-factor when you play a team that many times becomes the energy and the hustle plays.”
Another ingredient in the mixture would be a short bench for the Skyforce with two starters out of the lineup as neither DeAndre Liggins nor Jarnell Stokes were available. Craig says the team was ready to forge ahead. “With guys being injured and sick, we had eight guys who could play minutes for us. We had a ‘next man up’ mentality.”
In their first year of existence Raptors 905 had modest expectations and even though the wins haven’t come, Craig says three of the five games could have gone either way. “Coach Mermys is doing a really good job. Don’t look at their record because they have lost a lot of close games including a couple against us.”
Keith Benson led the Skyforce with 24 points and 6 rebounds, meanwhile Tre Kelley contributed 20 points with 6 assists plus pulling through on the defensive assignment on the final play. Ronald Roberts Jr. poured in 26 points while grabbing 9 boards and the aforementioned Suggs who finished with 19 points and 8 rebounds. Worthy of note was an acrobatic shot by Bubu Palo that is down below.
Raptors 905 will face a road test at Delaware on Friday in their next contest. Sioux Falls will also hit the road for a date with Iowa on Thursday.