Win Streak Reaches Four as Skyforce Sweep Red Claws
An emphatic third quarter propelled Sioux Falls to a victory Saturday night at the Sanford Pentagon. The Skyforce beat Maine 111-96 to run their winning streak to four games.
Both teams were comfortable offensively in the first half as Maine (3-4) hit half of their shots (19-38) with Sioux Falls slightly better (22-39). The Red Claws went into the break leading by three mainly because of their long range shooting going 12-21 from deep.
Skyforce Head Coach Dan Craig said to some degree Maine was executing at a high level. “At halftime, they had 16 extra possessions (through rebounding). We also got caught over-helping in the first half.”
Adjustments were made during halftime and the results were dramatic in the third quarter. Sioux Falls (4-2) held the visitors to 12 points and turned a 58-55 halftime deficit to an advantage of 84-70. Craig was pleased by seeing that resolve from his team. “We stayed on the shooters better in the second half and blocked out. To hold them to 12 in the third quarter, the guys deserve a lot of credit.”
Save for that 12-minute stretch, this game was all even. Guard Tre Kelley noted the Red Claws came out with more energy than they had the night before. “They played harder tonight especially after beating them the way we did last night. We adjusted to them playing harder and it worked out for us.”
On the stat sheet it shows Kelley with an efficient night offensively going 7-9 from the floor 3-4 from the line to net 17 points with 6 assists and 1 turnover. Jarnell Stokes on assignment from Miami led the team in scoring for the third straight game with 22 points and 10 rebounds. DeAndre Liggins contributed mightily by scoring 19 with 6 assists and 3 steals.
For Maine, Omari Johnson led the pack for a second straight night with 17 points and 8 rebounds. Reserves Coty Clarke and Andre Stringer added 13 and 12 points respectively with Boston assignee Jordan Mickey blocking 5 shots to go with 11 points and 6 rebounds.
Sioux Falls will stay at home for the coming week until their two-game set with Delaware starting Friday. Maine returns home with a little layoff before meeting Erie on Saturday.