Just over a week into the new year and the Skyforce have not lost since changing the calendar after running roughshod over Santa Cruz 102 to 81 on Saturday night.

Along the way, Sioux Falls (16-3) have made their mark on the NBADL record books. No team has ever achieved a better record after the first 19 games since the League’s inception in 2001.

Coincidentally, it was a year ago to the day that the Warriors (10-12) spoiled a similar attempt by the Maine Red Claws who were 15-3 in 2015. Santa Cruz had no such success on their home floor at the D-League Showcase.

Both teams struggled at the outset as the two teams were in relatively close quarters in the first half. However, the heavy influence of Jarnell Stokes and Josh Richardson (with evidence below) on both sides of intermission continued to produce positive results. Each of them notched 21 points and Stokes was top rebounder with 12.

North Dakota State Wins 5th Straight Football Title

The statement-making portion arrived in quarter number three as a trio of spurts defined the balance of the game. Sioux Falls scored the first seven points countered by a run of eight for the Warriors. A Skyforce timeout signaled the end of happy times in Surf City. Over the next 1:17 Sioux Falls scored 11 straight. Eventually the lead grew to 35 points during the fourth quarter with five minutes to go when Zero Hour arrived.

Verdell Jones came off the bench to contribute 17 points to the Warriors’ cause and Darington Hobson scored 16. Santa Cruz has dropped seven of their last nine games.

Both teams return to the floor Tuesday. Sioux Falls will play their first home game of 2016 against Raptors 905 and Santa Cruz hits the road to play Idaho.