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Flyers Soar Past Skyforce

Flyers 117, Skyforce 106

FORT WORTH, Dec. 19, 2006 -- With the help of two NBA players, the Fort Worth Flyers triumphed over the Sioux Falls Skyforce 117-106 tonight at the Fort Worth Convention Center.

The players assigned by the Dallas Mavericks to the Flyers are guard Maurice Ager and forward Pops Mensah-Bonsu.

Mensah-Bonsu had 12 rebounds and one block in 24 minutes, and Ager had 16 points and four rebounds in 27 minutes.

“We had to try to get them integrated into what we were doing,” said Flyers head coach Sidney Moncrief. “They did a good job given they’ve had limited practice. They made a contribution.”

In the first quarter, the Skyforce got on the board first with five straight points. Guard Kelenna Azubuike scored the first Flyers’ points with 10:01 remaining. A few moments later, Sioux Falls pioneered an 11-2 run to get the 21-11 advantage with 3:27 to go. From there, the Flyers forged a slow but steady comeback; they were down 29-25 at the buzzer.

“Our intensity was not like we needed it early in the ball game,” Moncrief said. “I thought some substitutions we made mid first quarter gave us an additional defensive spark.”

In the second quarter, forward/guard Jeremy Richardson’s free throws tied the game at 37 with 6:36 to go. Azubuike’s three point play at 5:19 gave Fort Worth its first lead of the evening, 40-39. From there, the home team continued to construct a solid lead and were up 59-49 with 1:17 remaining in the half. Sioux Falls center Jared Reiner scored his team’s final points of the second quarter, but Fort Worth still had the 61-53 advantage.

Moncrief said the team kept the pressure on, kept running the ball and forcing the tempo.

“We made some shots and could break into a decent lead,” Moncrief said.

After the break, the Flyers started with a 10-2 run and led 71-55 with 9:24 to go. Thereafter, the Flyers preserved their play and continued to shoot 47 percent from the floor while holding Sioux Falls to 38 percent in the third quarter. Fort Worth led 89-75 going into the last quarter.

In the fourth quarter, the Flyers continued their aggression and soared to their fourth double-digit win of the season. The home team continues to be undefeated at home, having won five this season at the Convention Center.

“That’s the way it should be,” Moncrief said. “We have a nice homestand in December. January will be a tough month; we’re on the road a lot and we need to take advantage of being at home.”

Azubuike led all scorers with 31 points and added five boards and three assists. Center Luke Schenscher had Fort Worth’s only double-double with 14 points and 11 boards. Richardson chipped in 21 points and six boards.

For Sioux Falls, guard Frank Williams led his team with 27 points and added 7 rebounds and three assists. Forward Andre Brown had the most rebounds of the game with 14 total boards.

With the win, the Flyers improve to 7-1 while Sioux Falls drops to 6-5.

The Flyers will remain in Fort Worth to take on the Anaheim Arsenal on Friday; tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. The Skyforce will return home to play the Austin Toros on Friday at the Sioux Falls Arena at 7 p.m.

-Prepare for Take-Off-