Skyforce Take Flight During Pivotal Fourth Quarter Run to Tame Mad Ants
After scoring 65 points through three quarters, the Sioux Falls Skyforce exploded for 45 in the final stanza to overtake the Fort Wayne Mad Ants 110-103 Tuesday night before a crowd of 2,908 at the Sanford Pentagon.
It’s hard to say this was a defensive game with each team scoring in triple digits. Fort Wayne (6-7) kept invaders out of the paint most of the night outscoring the home team 68-46 (+22) in the post. Conversely, Sioux Falls (5-6) forced 18 turnovers and converted those miscues into 27 points while the visitors could only muster 9 points from 11 giveaways.
Trailing 86-79 with 8:11 left the storm clouds gathered as Fuquan Edwin (20 points) and Shawn Jones (16 points, 11 rebounds) spurred the Skyforce comeback. The duo combined for 9 straight points to take the lead for the first time since the middle of the first quarter. In between that fallow stretch the Mad Ants had held a 5-12 point lead for the lion’s share of the game.
Tyler Johnson (13 points, 7 assists) then punctuated his return from a leg injury that had sidelined him for the past 7 games with two three point plays. The second of which came on a highlight reel dunk with 5:02 left which you can see in the clip below.
With 1:42 to go, Fort Wayne eventually tied the game at 100 courtesy of a long bomb by New Orleans Pelican assignee Russ Smith who finished with 16 points and 8 assists. The answer came in the form of Andre Dawkins (18 points) who is on assignment from the Miami Heat then honed his sights from long range and drained consecutive shots (one with a prolonged shooter’s roll which is at the top of this post) to create the space necessary to put Fort Wayne away.
The other NBA talent in the contest, Glen Rice, Jr. from the Washington Wizards led Fort Wayne with 22 points. Also worthy was Larry Drew II who posted a double-double of 13 points and 15 assists on the ‘Force side of the ledger.
Thursday night brings the next Skyforce appearance with a road clash out west with the Los Angeles D-Fenders while Fort Wayne returns home to hook up with the Westchester Knicks.