Dakota 105, Sioux Falls 103
SIOUX FALLS, S.D., Dec. 25 -- It was truly a Merry Christmas for Blake Ahearn.
Ahearn, who is in his second stint with the Dakota Wizards after the San Antonio Spurs waived him earlier this month, erupted for 29 points and connected on a game-winning bucket with 3.9 seconds remaining to lift his squad past the Sioux Falls Skyforce, 105-103, on Christmas Day.
The Wizards and Skyforce, big rivals who tend to be perennial championship contenders, exchanged leads throughout the fourth quarter. Sioux Falls' Frank Williams drained a game-tying 3-pointer with just over a minute left and each team subsequently hit a free throw before Ahearn's heroic shot.
Quemont Greer also contributed with 29 points for Dakota, which played only six players due to injuries and illness, and Will Frisby added 22 points and 12 rebounds.
One of the biggest differences was free throws made as the Wizards converted on 11 more at the line than the Skyforce.
“We knew coming in here that we had to play our best game with six guys and we were fortunate enough to do that,” Ahearn said. “It was a great team effort, we had everybody make a contribution and I’m proud of the guys."
Glen McGowan led a balanced attack for Sioux Falls with 19 points as six Skyforce players reached double figures. Williams recorded 18 points and Bobby Jones had 17.
Dakota will seek its sixth win in seven games when it hosts the Rio Grande Valley Vipers on Sunday, while Sioux Falls will look for a rebound performance when it visits the Idaho Stampede on Saturday.