Skyforce Continue Best Stretch of Season with Win at Westchester
The Skyforce continues their winning groove during a mid-season run. On Friday night Sioux Falls downed the expansion Westchester Knicks 109-99 at the Westchester County Center.
A 4-game win streak puts the Skyforce (16-11) on top of the Central Division by just percentage points over the Fort Wayne Mad Ants who also have 5 more wins than losses as January comes to a close. Westchester (8-19) has lost their last 6 contests and are 2-8 since 2015 began.
The Skyforce benefitted from a 12-point run early in the first quarter. Then the Knicks struggled to find their shots in the second, shooting just 36 percent to Sioux Falls’ 65 percent. A Westchester rally during the third stanza brought the double digit halftime edge down to 3, but the Skyforce answered with a 17-6 spurt that mostly held throughout the fourth period.
Stellar play from Scotty Hopson (24 points, 9 rebounds) has been the common denominator during this successful stretch for the ‘Force. The forward from Tennessee has scored at least 20 points in each outing, averaging just over 25 a game. He especially got the benefit of some sweet shooter's roll which you can check in the clip below.
Henry Walker (17 points) and Shawn Jones (16 points, 12 rebounds) get plaudits for tonight’s efforts as the Skyforce never trailed. Add to the mix with the call-ups and an injury to Chadrack Lufile there are only 8 players available for Phil Weber’s crew. It’s safe to say the team has meshed.
Newly assigned Cleanthony Early asserted himself in his NBA Development League debut with 20 points and 10 rebounds. Meanwhile 2nd year player Thanasis Antetokounmpo contributed 17 points with Darnell Jackson posting a 13-point, 10-rebound effort.
The two teams will meet again for the second of two on Saturday night. Sioux Falls will try for the road trip sweep while Westchester will try to win their first game at home since January 3.