Westchester Withstands Skyforce Flurry to Pick up Road Win
Same teams, different result as Westchester snaps multiple Skyforce streaks by topping Sioux Falls 110-100 on Saturday night at the Sanford Pentagon.
There were similarities from one night to the next as both teams had the same leading scorer on consecutive nights, plus Sioux Falls mounted a fourth quarter rally scoring 9 straight during one stretch to draw close. Among the differences were the increased rate of turnovers for both squads (23 each), the Knicks (17-12) improved their interior defense and offense was a little harder to come by on the second night for both teams.
A seventeen point spread was shaved to six during the final quarter and Skyforce Head Coach Dan Craig credited his guys for playing to the final horn. “A lot of teams would have just laid down. Played last night trailing by 17 in the fourth quarter which is a situation where you need everything to go perfect. I’m proud of the guys because they had fight.”
Sioux Falls (22-5) suffered their first loss this season in the second game of a back-to-back after succeeding in their first five tries. Overall their winning streak was stopped at five and the Skyforce consecutive home triumphs string will end at eleven.
Bubu Palo led the Skyforce with 24 points and felt that Westchester was a little bit better in a few areas. “It seemed like they got more of the 50/50 balls, offensive rebounds and second chance points. (The Knicks) also made a concerted effort to stop our attacks from getting in the paint. We could have done a bit better moving the ball and making them shift so they couldn’t load up in the paint. On a night when we didn’t shoot well that made it difficult.”
Big contributions came up front for Sioux Falls as Byron Mullens stroked six three-point baskets on the way to 20 points plus adding 11 rebounds s total marks the fourth straight double-double for Mullens. Keith Benson followed with 17 points and 8 rebounds.
Jimmer Fredette matched his season high with 37 points on 14 of 25 shooting from the floor and 5 of 8 from deep. Backcourt mate Travis Trice II poured in 17 while former NBA vet Gani Lawal came off the bench for his own double-double of 14 points and 14 rebounds.
These two teams will meet again for one last tango in White Plains, New York next Friday night which is the next game on the Westchester schedule. Sioux Falls has one more to play before that matchup at home Wednesday against Canton.