Sweep Accomplished as Skyforce Swamps Erie Again
The gulf between the top team in the league and the bottom team grew a little wider with Sioux Falls trumping Erie 117-97 Saturday night at the Sanford Pentagon.
Just over a month ago, the BayHawks (11-23) were two games below .500 after a four-game win streak including a dramatic last-second win at the NBADL Showcase. Conversely, the Skyforce (26-7) continue to find ways to emerge victorious on a consistent basis. With the loss Erie’s skid stands at six, meanwhile Sioux Falls has won their last four and in the process secured the 15th winning season in the 27-year franchise history.
Even though the two teams are heading in different directions, there was a second quarter burst by the visitors on the second straight night. Skyforce Head Coach Dan Craig knows that Erie has the ability to score in bunches.
“A couple times we didn’t do those little things defensively that we needed to do (in the second quarter). We didn’t have (the lapses) for as long a period compared to last night. You can’t take a break on their shooters. We found the shooters better in the second half.”
Briante Weber notched a career high 17 points with 6 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 steals. Plus he helped dictate the pace in the second half to score 19 points on the fast break after having none before intermission.
“Coach Craig said we needed to get the ball out in the open court with some pitch-aheads and easy buckets. We forced them into misses and got some turnovers which allowed us to run.”
A monster night for Keith Benson of 32 points and 7 rebounds bolstered the play inside. Craig says a lot of that was by design in their half-court offense.
“We made an emphasis to do that in the third quarter. He’s improved his offensive efficiency and playmaking. Last night he had 6 assists and tonight they were afraid to (double-team) and he made them pay.”
Keith Appling for the BayHawks did his best to carry the first name forward with 27 points and 14 assists with Jordan Sibert right behind with 21 points. Erie was unable to take any of the four games in the season series.
The BayHawks continue their road swing with a visit to Reno on Tuesday. Sioux Falls will stay put for a Tuesday night clash with the Fort Wayne Mad Ants.