Energy 111, Skyforce 108 (F)
SIOUX FALLS, S.D., March 11 – The Iowa Energy survived a late comeback to hand the Sioux Falls Skyforce a rare home loss, winning 111-108 Tuesday night at the Sioux Falls Arena. Carl Elliott and David Bailey each had a chance to send the game to overtime for the Skyforce but missed on two 3-point shots in the final seconds. The loss snapped Sioux Falls’ 11-game home winning streak dating back to December 22.
Courtney Sims dominated the post most of the game and led the Energy with a game-high 27 points while grabbing 10 rebounds. Chicago Bulls assignee guard Demetris Nichols served as the outside compliment to Sims scoring 25 points.
“(Sims and Nichols) are a good inside-outside combo,” said Energy head coach Nick Nurse. “Sims is a huge surprise to me, I had no idea he was that good on the low block.”
The Skyforce began the game hot shooting 61 percent from the field in the first quarter, but cooled off in the second and allowed the Energy to take the lead going into halftime, 56-54. Iowa dominated the first four minutes of the third quarter jumping out to a 14-point lead. Sioux Falls never let the lead get any bigger, however, and kept the game within reach until the final buzzer.
David Bailey led the Skyforce with 23 points, 13 of those coming in the first quarter. The points were spread around from there as all five Sioux Falls starters scored in double digits. Skyforce leading scorer Kasib Powell was forced into difficult shots most of the game, finishing 8-of-20 for 21 points.
“In my opinion (Powell) is the best player in the whole league,” said Nurse. “Other guys can hurt you too but we decided to go get Kasib a little bit and it was pretty good for us.”
Sioux Falls will play their next seven games at home beginning with Anaheim this Sunday. Tip off is scheduled for 5 p.m. Iowa will play again next Tuesday at Fort Wayne at 6 p.m.