Dakota 115, Sioux Falls 105
SIOUX FALLS, S.D., Dec. 9 – The Sioux Falls Skyforce failed to avenge last season’s playoff loss to the Dakota Wizards, losing 115-105 on Sunday at the Sioux Falls Arena to drop to 1-5 on the season.
Rod Benson led the way for the Wizards as he set a NBA D-League record with 28 rebounds. Benson also added a game-high 28 points for the Wizards, who never trailed in the game.
“For me it’s all about effort,” said Benson, “I had a big rebounding night last night, and I woke up today, like, I think I can get 25.”
Maurice Baker and Carlos Powell also had big games, scoring 22 points apiece, while Dontell Jefferson posted 20 for Dakota.
“We knew Rod was going to go out and get us some rebounds,” said Dakota head coach Duane Ticknor. “A lot of great players have come through this league, and to say that you’re the all-time single-game rebounding leader is a real testament to his effort level.”
After being down by double-digits for much of the first half, Sioux Falls was able to close the gap late in the fourth quarter, cutting the Wizards' lead to five with just over a minute to play. But a pair of free throws from Maurice Baker and then Blake Ahearn put the game out of reach for the Skyforce.
“When they made their runs, we answered,” said Ticknor. “I was really proud of the way we played tonight.”
Elton Nesbitt led the Skyforce with 23 points, 17 of those coming in the final quarter.
Nik Caner-Medly, who shared the lead in rebounding average with Benson coming into the game, ended with 14 points and seven boards.
Newly acquired forward Kasib Powell added 20 points in his first game for the Skyforce.
Dakota will travel to Fort Wayne to play the Mad Ants on Thursday night. The Skyforce face the Energy in Iowa on Friday at 7:30 p.m.