A sustained effort paid off for the Skyforce. After weathering a rough start, Sioux Falls was able to subdue the Westchester Knicks 112-96 Friday night at the Sanford Pentagon.

Let’s define “rough start”. Neither team was able to find the range in the first quarter with both shooting under 30 percent. The two teams combined for an 11-35 performance from the floor.

Sioux Falls (24-19) was the team that got better first. From the second quarter through the end, the Skyforce hit better than half their shots.

Andre Dawkins found the stroke for the ‘Force coming off the bench to score 25 points. Meanwhile Shawn Jones cleaned up a lot of missed shots by posting 20 points and 14 rebounds. His array of dunks are worth a look below. Fuquan Edwin roared out of the gate in the third quarter and scored 15 of his 17 after intermission.

For the entire season Westchester (10-33) has been snakebitten on the road. The only victory away from the Westchester County Center was against Canton in January. On this night, Doron Lamb was the top of the heap for the Knicks with 24 points and 7 rebounds followed by Trey Gilder off the bench with 16 points.

These two teams will meet again for the second half of the back-to-back series on Saturday night. Skyforce Coach Phil Weber knows as a potential playoff berth looms, every game is important down the stretch. “We have to continue to play well. It’s really tight between Fort Wayne, Iowa and ourselves. We’ve got to take care of our own business. Our goal more so than anything else is to extend the minutes that we play at a high level of intensity.”