Skyforce Stuff Stampede for Second Straight Success
Five straight wins have put the Sioux Falls Skyforce in full view of a division title. Idaho was a double digit victim by the tally of 106-86 on Saturday night.
The common thread during this latest string of victories, each team Sioux Falls (28-19) faced had long been eliminated from the playoff picture. Plus during each game the ‘Force held a lead of at least 21 points during the contest.
With a steady hand Larry Drew II administered an attack that shot 50 percent from the field overall and 12 of 27 from downtown as a team. When Drew II shot, he didn’t miss much going 8-9 on his own. The guard out of UCLA also registered his first NBADL triple-double with a line of 21 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists.
The breakthrough play came with 2:35 left in the game on a pick and roll with Shawn Jones to get that final dime. It's the first triple-double for the 'Force in over two years. Current Indiana Pacer Donald Sloan accomplished the feat on February 1, 2013 with a command performance of 22 points, 13 boards and 14 assists at home against Reno. It is the second Skyforce triple-double on Idaho's home floor as Randy Livingston pulled the feat in Treasure Valley back in 2005.
Scotty Hopson took most of the scoring load with 28 points while Fuquan Edwin tallied 19 points. Not only did Drew II obtain his triple-double on the previously mentioned interaction with Jones, but also the Skyforce forward earned a double-double on the play with 11 points to go with 12 rebounds.
Idaho (8-39) was led by Jared Cunningham’s 25 points while Jerrelle Benimon added 16 points and hauled in 19 rebounds. Relentless defense by the visitors held the Stampede to just 37 percent from the floor.
Other action away from Treasure Valley put the Skyforce on the brink of qualifying for the postseason. Canton captured a road win over the Iowa Energy Saturday evening. Also a put back basket at the buzzer helped the Los Angeles D-Fenders topple Fort Wayne. All it takes for Sioux Falls to capture a division title is one win.
That next opportunity comes on Wednesday as Sioux Falls goes to Grand Rapids. Meanwhile Idaho will finish their season on the road on a southern swing that starts at Texas on Wednesday.