Skyforce 96, Wizards 90
BISMARCK, N.D., Dec. 16 -- Sioux Falls Skyforce forward Kasib Powell took it to his former team the Dakota Wizards at the Bismarck Civic Center. Powell grabbed a double-double, with 29 points and 11 rebounds, in his return to Bismarck to give the Skyforce their second win of the season, 96 – 90.
Dakota started slow this evening shooting 36 percent from the field at the half, and the Skyforce took full advantage of that as they led by as many as 17 points. A lot of those points came from forward Damone Brown, who finished with 28 points -- 15 in the first half.
“Our guys played together tonight,” said head coach for Sioux Falls Nate Tibbets, “Standings don’t mean anything during the game, we played with intensity and created a lot of turnovers, and our guys made shots down the stretch”.
The second half was a different story as the Wizards clawed back with six lead changes. Behind guard Dontell Jefferson’s 18 points in the second half, the Wizards took a two point lead with six minutes remaining in the fourth. Just as fast as the Wizards took the lead the Skyforce grabbed it right back on an alley-oop dunk from Powell to Brown.
“We didn’t play very well,” said Wizards head coach Duane Ticknor. “That was very disappointing for our guys and for our fans. We started too slow in the first half, and you can’t do that in this league.”
The Wizards, now 5-4 were led in scoring off the bench by guard Blake Ahearns’ 24 points, while guard Dontell Jefferson finished with 22 points. Rod Benson kept his five-game double-double streak alive finishing with 13 points and a game-high 17 rebounds. Benson also added three blocks and six assists on the night.
Dakota stays at home for the week before taking on the Tulsa 66ers on Dec. 21, and the Rio Grand Valley Vipers on the Dec. 22, also at the Bismarck Civic Center. The Skyforce, now 2-6, will go back home to host the Vipers on Friday night in Sioux Falls.