Sioux Falls Skyforce 111, Tulsa 66ers 102
Tulsa, Okla., February 8, 2009 – Despite scoring 48 points from the bench, the Tulsa 66ers were defeated 111-102 in a Sunday afternoon matchup against the Sioux Falls Skyforce at the SpiritBank Event Center in South Tulsa. The 66ers outscored the Skyforce by 27 points from the bench in the game.
“We were just a bit undermanned,” 66ers Head Coach Paul Woolpert said. “Sioux Falls is a big team and we were fatigued.”
Playing in their third game in four nights, and their second game in less than 24 hours, the 66ers started the game down 20-10 with 4:50 remaining in the first quarter. But Tulsa found their rhythm and went on an 11-4 run to end the quarter down 21-24, capped by two blocked shots by Derrick Dial and Gary Forbes, and a Dial three-pointer. Tulsa shot 38 percent in the period, compared to 50 percent for Sioux Falls.
The second quarter was back-and-forth, with four lead changes and the teams tied 10 times within the period. Sioux Falls went 13-of-13 from the free throw stripe in the period to hold on to a 52-47 edge heading into halftime.
The Skyforce came out of halftime on a roll, going on a 20-5 run in the first four minutes of the third quarter that put them out in front 72-53 after a Bobby Jones layup. Jones had 12 of his game-high 28 points, as the Skyforce shot 15-of-18 from the field and 8-for-8 from the free throw line in the quarter. Dial had 10 of his team-high 23 points, and the 66ers shot 11-of-13 from the free throw line in the third.
“That stretch in the third quarter was too much for us to overcome,” Woolpert said.
Tulsa made the game interesting down the stretch, however, starting the fourth quarter on a 9-0 run to cut the Skyforce lead to 81-91. Moses Ehambe scored eight of his 10 points in the final period, helping Tulsa go on a 7-0 run with 1:38 remaining to trim the Sioux Falls edge to 100-106.
Led by Jones and his nine rebounds, seven assists, Sioux Falls finished with six players in double-figures, three of which had double-doubles. John Edwards had season-highs of 20 points and 11 rebounds, while Glen McGowan finished with 12 points and 10 boards and Chris Ellis posted season-highs of 12 points and 11 rebounds. Ellis finished 10-for-10 from the free throw stripe for the game. David Bailey added 18 points and Frank Williams contributed 12 points for the Skyforce.
Led by Dial, the 66ers finished with five players in double figures, as Ryan Humphrey had 19 points and seven rebounds, while Gary Ervin had a season-high 15 points, and Forbes added 10 points. Dial also finished with tied with Humphrey for a team-high seven rebounds, while Jeremy Kelly contributed eight points and eight assists.
Tulsa was outrebounded 46-30 for the game, but committed a season-low 10 turnovers.
Sioux Falls (15-14) ends a two-game losing streak, and travels back home to play the Bakersfield Jam on Wednesday, Feb. 11 prior to the All-Star break.
Tulsa (7-21) travels to play division-rival Colorado 14ers in Broomfield, CO on Wednesday entering into All-Star Weekend.