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Beasley’s Jumper Lifts Dakota Past Sioux Falls

BISMARCK N.D., November 25, 2006 - Jerome Beasley drained a jumper from the top of the key with 1.4 seconds left to give the Dakota Wizards an 89-87 victory over Sioux Falls in NBA Development League action Saturday at the Bismarck Civic Center.

The win in the home opener for Dakota was the second straight for the Wizards over Sioux Falls in as many nights to open the 2006-07 season.

Following Beasley�s bucket, the Skyforce had one last chance but Dakota�s Renaldo Major stole the inbounds pass to seal the deal for Dakota.

Dakota exploded to a 28-11 lead after the first quarter by converting 11-of-20 field goal attempts and limiting the Skyforce to just 18-percent shooting (3-for-16). The Wizards led 42-34 at the half before Sioux Falls came roaring back late in the third quarter.

�I was happy with the way we started the game, we shot it pretty well early on,� Dakota coach Dave Joerger said. �Give Sioux Falls credit for battling back and making it quite a finish.

�Jerome Beasley did what good basketball players do. He made the play to win the game,� Joerger said. �All any player should ask for is a chance to win one and Jerome made the most of the chance he got tonight.�

The Skyforce took its first lead of the night at 73-71 with 7:42 left to play on a pair of free throws by Andre Brown. The two teams played even the rest of the way, with neither team gaining more than a four-point advantage.

�It was an ugly game in the first half, about as ugly as you will see. I thought in the second half both teams picked it up,� Sioux Falls coach Mo McHone said. �Our defense really picked it up in the second half. Jerome (Beasley) made the shot when it counted and that�s what you�re supposed to do, make the shots at the end.�

It was Beasley that hit the game winner, but it was James May who kept the Wizards alive down the stretch. The shooting guard from UNC-Greensboro scored 10 of Dakota�s last 14 points in the final seven minutes of the game.

Maye had 18 points to lead the Wizards, and Dontell Jefferson came off the bench to score 15. Beasley finished with 14 points and eight rebounds, while Major chipped in 12 points and seven boards.

Brown scored 23 and grabbed 10 rebounds for Sioux Falls to lead both teams in those categories. Frank Williams contributed 17 points and Luke Whitehead 12.

Dakota travels to Tulsa on Dec. 1. Sioux Falls is host to Idaho on Nov. 30.