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Flash Hold Off Skyforce For Victory

Utah Flash 107, Sioux Falls Skyforce 101

OREM, Utah, March 14, 2009 - Ronald Dupree and Utah Jazz assignee Morris Almond combined for 49 points to help lift the Utah Flash to a 107-101 NBA Development League victory over the Sioux Falls Skyforce Saturday night at the McKay Events Center.

Utah (22-14) pulls within a game of the Idaho Stampede for the West Division first place spot with the win, and will host Idaho Monday night at 7 p.m. Sioux Falls (20-21) will head to Los Angeles for a matchup with the D-Fenders on Tuesday.

The Flash benefited from a 38-of-42 (90-percent) night shooting from the free-throw line, and turned 15 Sioux Falls turnovers into 18 points in the winning effort.

“In the first half we struggled being consistent with our energy.” Flash head coach Brad Jones said. “But then we challenged our guys, and our guys really stepped up to play team basketball and Flash basketball.”

David Bailey gave the Skyforce its largest lead of the evening after knocking down a three-pointer that put the Skyforce up 44-37 with 3:26 left in the second period. But Utah rattled off a 9-4 run to close out the second period and cut the Skyforce lead to two points heading into the halftime break.

A Kyrylo Fesenko hook-shot and an Almond three-pointer capped a Utah 12-4 run to give the Flash a 10 point lead with under a minute remaining in the third period. But the Skyforce responded with a 6-0 run to close out the period and cut the Flash lead to 72-68.

On assignment from the Utah Jazz, Fesenko finished with 18 points on 5-of-7 (71-percent) shooting from the field, and 8-of-9 (88-percent) shooting from the free-throw line.

“I thought Fesenko played the best game he’s played for us all year long.” Jones said. “He was a big factor for us in the post, and they didn’t really have an answer for him.”

Sioux Falls rattled off a 14-5 run to open up the fourth quarter and take a modest five point lead with 8:09 remaining in the contest. But an Almond three-pointer ignited a 12-0 Utah run that put the Flash up 96-88 with 4:27 remaining.

Sioux Falls pulled within three points with 1:48 remaining after two free-throws from Sean Singletary, but was unable to draw closer. Singletary, on assignment from the Charlotte Bobcats, scored 16 of his 23 points in the fourth quarter.

Frank Williams chipped in 23 points for the Skyforce, while Bobby Jones knocked down 14 off the Skyforce bench.

Almond dropped in a game-high 26 points, while Dupree contributed 23 points, five rebounds, and five assists. Kevin Kruger notched 10 points and six assists in the winning effort