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Skyforce Rallies Past Stampede

Sioux Falls 122, Idaho 113

SIOUX FALLS, S.D., Dec. 7 – The Sioux Falls Skyforce picked up their first win of the season in dramatic fashion Friday night, completing a huge comeback by beating the Idaho Stampede 122-113 in overtime. Returning home after a three-game road trip, including a loss at Idaho on Tuesday, the Skyforce outscored the Stampede 32-17 in the fourth quarter and 18-9 in overtime to complete a comeback that started with Sioux Falls down 15 entering the final stanza.

The Skyforce (1-4) saw Tulsa beat them with a late fourth-quarter comeback in their first home game earlier this season, and were able to again provide an exciting end for the fans at the Sioux Falls Arena, only this time in their favor. On NBA affiliate night, with the Skyforce wearing Minnesota Timberwolves uniforms and Idaho (5-2) wearing Seattle SuperSonics uniforms, Nik Caner-Medley led the way for the Skyforce as he has done all season by scoring 26 points, 14 of those coming in the fourth quarter and overtime. Three other Skyforce players scored over 20 points as Elton Nesbitt had 24 (18 in the fourth and OT), Damone Brown had 22 and David Bailey added 21.

“What a weight off our shoulders,” said Sioux Falls coach Nate Tibbetts. “I’m so proud of this group; they just kept fighting and fighting, we got it done as a team.”

Idaho shot a ridiculous 57.4 percent from the field and 58.3 percent from 3-point range through the first three quarters, but failed to get the offense when they needed it late in the game, shooting just 7-for-34 (21 percent) in the fourth quarter and OT. Sioux Falls started the game fast and quickly led by 10 just over six minutes into the game. Idaho, however, controlled much of the game from that point on, taking the lead at 21-20 with 3:16 left in the first quarter and not surrendering it until under a minute to play in regulation.

“We went to a zone and we went small,” Tibbetts said of the turnaround defensively for the Skyforce. “That’s the best team in the league right now. (This game) gives our guys a sense of confidence.”

Randy Livingston led the way for the Stampede scoring a season-high 37 points, including a stellar 17 in the first quarter. Cory Violette (32 points) and Lance Allred (28 points) also had big games for Idaho.

Sioux Falls will play again at home on Sunday against the Dakota Wizards at 5 p.m. CT. Idaho travels to Bismarck to take on the Dakota Wizards Saturday night at 7 p.m. CT.