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Ahearn Keys Second-Half Surge to Lead Wizards Past Skyforce

Dakota 113, Sioux Falls 107

SIOUX FALLS, S.D., Jan. 9, 2009 -- Blake Ahearn scored 29 of his season-high 40 points in the second half as the Dakota Wizards won their second consecutive game at the Sioux Falls Arena with Friday night's 113-107 victory over the host Sioux Falls Skyforce.

The Wizards trailed 58-49 at halftime, as Ahearn led the charge. He drained nine 3-pointers in posting his season-high points total. The Skyforce (11-7) led by as many as 14 in the third quarter before the Wizards (11-8) went on a 17-2 run to take an 80-79 lead with 3:30 to play in the quarter. A Sioux Falls bucket and two free throws by Bobby Jones, followed by a 3-pointer by Ahearn, locked the score at 83 to end the period.

The Skyforce would never regain the lead as Ahearn remained hot from the three-point line, draining four treys in the fourth quarter alone. He led all scorers on 11-of-23 shooting, including 9-of-12 from three-point range.

"We're just having defensive lapses," Skyforce coach Nate Tibbetts said. "We can't give up 34 points in a quarter and then follow it up with a 30-point quarter. It's going to be hard to beat teams when you don't guard."

Dakota's Richard Hendrix recorded his fourth double-double on the season by scoring 17 points and grabbing 13 rebounds. Renaldo Major and Will Frisby each added 14 points for the Wizards and Maurice Baker rounded out the double-digit scorers with 12 points.

Keith Brumbaugh paced the Skyforce with 23 points and six rebounds. Carl Elliott added 18 points and matched his season-high with eight assists. John Edwards scored eight points in his Skyforce debut.

The Central Division rivals tangle again Saturday night at the Sioux Falls Arena.