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Skyforce Edges Vipers for Home Win

Sioux Falls 114, Rio Grande Valley 110 (F)

SIOUX FALLS, S.D., Dec. 21 – Kasib Powell and Elton Nesbitt each scored 26 points to lead the Sioux Falls Skyforce to a 114-110 win over the visiting Rio Grande Valley Vipers on Friday night at the Sioux Falls Arena. The Vipers gave Sioux Falls all it could handle as they came back from an eight-point fourth-quarter deficit to have a chance to win in the final minute. With the Skyforce up two, Damone Brown blocked a C.J. Watson layup with five seconds left to seal the win for Sioux Falls.

“I was really proud of the way we played tonight,” said Skyforce head coach Nate Tibbetts. “Kasib’s been great ever since he’s been with us and (Nesbitt) brings energy and makes stuff happen.”

Sioux Falls looked as if it would pull away in the fourth but, behind Gabe Muoneke, the Vipers were able to work their way back in the final minutes. The Vipers' comeback peaked when they took the lead with 29 seconds left on a pair of free throws by Watson.

Sioux Falls was able to hit five clutch free throws, three by Powell and two by Brown, in the final 23 seconds to give the Skyforce their first two-game winning streak of the year.

Brown added 15 points and 10 rebounds for the Skyforce (3-6) in his last game with the team. Brown, who joined the Skyforce five games into the season, is leaving to play overseas.

“Damone Brown’s been a great player for two years -- he’s a leader, a guy I could lean on,” said Tibbetts. “(We) wish him the best and I’m really going to miss him.”

Watson and Muoneke led the way for Rio Grande Valley (7-4) with 30 points each.

Sioux Falls will host Los Angeles D-Fenders on Saturday night at 7 p.m. Rio Grande Valley will travel to Dakota to play the Wizards on Saturday at 7 p.m.