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Skyforce Tops Flyers In Battle Of Eastern Division Powers

Sioux Falls 117, Fort Worth 107

SIOUX FALLS, S.D., Jan. 17, 2007 – All five starters scored in double figures as the Sioux Falls Skyforce defeated the Forth Worth Flyers, 117-107, in a battle of Eastern-division powers on the final day of the 2007 NBA Development League MLK Showcase Wednesday at the Sioux Falls Arena.

With two wins in the Showcase, Sioux Falls (13-9) gained ground on the second-place Flyers (12-5) who dropped both of their Showcase matches. The Skyforce, third in the Eastern division, now trail Forth Worth by only 1.5 games. Dakota leads the division.

Fort Worth continues its current road trip with a visit to the Bismarck Civic Center to face the Dakota Wizards Friday at 7 p.m. CT. Sioux Falls tips off against the Arkansas RimRockers at 7 p.m. CT at Alltel Arena in North Little Rock, Ark.

“I thought this was the best game of the Showcase so far,” Sioux Falls coach Mo McHone said. “For us to play that good, I was real pleased. It was a hard-fought game.”

Jared Reiner led Sioux Falls with 21 points and eight rebounds as the Skyforce set up shot inside. Sioux Falls had 68 points in the paint to the Flyers’ 46 and out rebounded Fort Worth 47-22. Forward Vincent Grier added 19 points and collected 10 boards, followed by Amir Johnson and Stephen Graham, both with 14.

The Skyforce were down early in the third when Frank Williams, who finished with 12 points, hit back-to-back three-point attempts to tie the game at 70. It was all Sioux Falls after that.

“When he (Williams) made those two, it got us back in the game,” McHone said. “Almost every time he’s made some shots, we’ve made a run. Our energy really came up and our defense picked up.”

Jose Barea, making his first appearance with the Flyers after being assigned by the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday, led all Fort Worth scorers with 21 points and eight assists. Jeremy Richardson added 20, followed by Kevin Burleson with 19. Pops Mensah-Bonsu scored 16.

Both teams had tremendous shooting nights from the floor. Fort Worth converted 40-of-79 (.506) and Sioux Falls 44-of-88 (.500) The Flyers made 10-of-17 three point attempts.