Skyforce Hold Off Flyers in 101-93 Victory

Sioux Falls 101, Fort Worth 93

FORT WORTH, Texas, April 13, 2007 - The Fort Worth Flyers recovered from early setbacks, but the Skyforce still squeaked by with a 101-93 victory. Curtis Stinson and Ndudi Ebi both recorded double-doubles for the Flyers. Stinson had 22 points and 10 rebounds while Ebi notched game highs with 15 rebounds and five blocked shots mixed with 14 points, off the bench.

In the first quarter, the Flyers fell behind early. Fort Worth scored the first field goal of the game and had a 4-2 advantage at the 10:38 mark, but the Skyforce quickly mounted a response. Sioux Falls led by as much as 14 en route to a 28-17 lead after the first quarter.

After the Skyforce went up by 18 points early in the second quarter, the Flyers’ 10-0 run anchored a terrific comeback. Fort Worth whittled the lead away to 43-40 after a three-pointer by guard Jeremy Richardson. It would be the closest the Flyers would get in the half – the teams left the floor with Sioux Falls up 52-46.

“You cannot, in this kind of game, get down by 18,” head coach Sidney Moncrief said. “We came out, didn’t make shots, didn’t really execute our game plan very well, and were playing uphill the entire time.”

Moncrief said he thought the team stabilized well, and got back into the game. He also said he tried to keep the Flyers encouraged throughout.

“I know when you get down by 18 in this kind of game – they really need to be pushed to continue to play hard,” he said. “I knew it would stabilize and we would get back in the ball game. I tried to make sure I did my part as a coach to make sure that happened.”

In the third period, Fort Worth came close again, 62-61, after a jump shot by Stinson. The Flyers never allowed the lead to reach beyond eight, and the Skyforce led 69-67 heading into the fourth quarter.

The fourth quarter featured four lead changes and six ties, as both teams battled for the victory. Fort Worth led briefly on several occasions, but couldn’t overcome its division rival.

Moncrief said the Flyers’ fourth quarter comeback also came with defensive mistakes, allowing Sioux Falls back into the game.

Forward Damone Brown led the Skyforce and all scorers with 31 points, plus 13 rebounds and two blocks. Guard Frank Williams scored 16 points for the visiting team, plus four boards and a steal.

For the Flyers, Richardson added 18 points, and two boards, assists and blocks..

At 28-21, Fort Worth now falls two games behind the Skyforce, 30-19. Therefore, next week’s playoff game will be set in Sioux Falls, S.D. The teams play once more on Saturday in Fort Worth, with tip-off scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Moncrief said the Flyers are playing to get a rhythm down, and to make sure to improve on defensive rebounding.

“We just want to play good, solid, basketball going into the playoffs – get a momentum going” he said.