Skyforce 96, Energy 94 (F)
SIOUX FALLS, S.D., Jan. 4 – It took three tries for the Sioux Falls Skyforce to beat the Iowa Energy this season, and all they needed was homecourt advantage. After losing the previous two times at Iowa, the Skyforce survived a nail-biting fourth quarter to win 96-94 Friday night at the Sioux Falls Arena.
“This is a great win for us, our guys showed a lot of character tonight,” said Skyforce head coach Nate Tibbetts. “If you start losing those games over and over you start questioning yourself, and we need to build off of this.”
David Bailey led the Skyforce with 23 points and six assists as four players scored in double digits for Sioux Falls. Kasib Powell scored 21, Jason Klotz added 15, and Chris Alexander and Elton Nesbitt scored 12 and 11, respectively.
“We need to have four or five or six guys play well,” said Tibbetts. “We can’t have one or two guys play well and be successful.”
Iowa led most of the first half but the Skyforce was able to keep it close and eventually tied the game at 60 going into halftime. Sioux Falls started the third quarter strong, gaining a 10-point advantage with 6:05 left in the quarter. Iowa closed the gap and took advantage of a 9:50 span that lasted into the fourth where the Skyforce failed to make a field goal. Iowa never was able to take more than a one-point lead, however, and Sioux Falls kept the lead for the final five minutes of regulation.
Anthony Tolliver led the Energy with 19 points and nine rebounds off the bench. Jeff Horner also provided a spark for Iowa by hitting four 3-pointers on his way to 14 points. The Energy has now lost three games in row but will have another chance against Sioux Falls on Sunday. Tipoff is scheduled for 5 p.m. at the Sioux Falls Arena.