SIOUX FALLS, S.D., January 22, 2010 – Mustafa Shakur scored eight of his season-high 34 points in overtime, as the Tulsa 66ers defeated the Sioux Falls Skyforce 121-119 at the Sioux Falls Arena Friday night. Shakur also secured eight rebounds and dished out six assists for Tulsa.
“This was a hard-fought game for all 53 minutes,” 66ers Head Coach Nate Tibbetts said. “We were able to show some toughness and make the crucial stops on the defensive end that we needed to win.”
Both teams had 5-0 runs to start the game, in what turned out to be a close battle throughout. With 8:26 remaining in the first quarter, the Skyforce went on a 12-5 run over the next three minutes, capped by a Keith Brumbaugh three-pointer to go up 17-10. The Skyforce shot 13-for-19 (68 percent) in the quarter, led by David Bailey with 11 points in the first period. Shakur led the 66ers with 13 first quarter points, as Tulsa shot 55 percent (11-20) in the period. The Skyforce led 31-28 at the break.
Midway through the second quarter, the Skyforce went on a 10-3 run that extended their lead to 60-49 after Reggie Williams hit one of his game-high five three-pointers. The 66ers outscored the Skyforce 14-7 in the final three minutes of the first half, as Shakur scored nine points during the run to bring Tulsa within four at 63-67 at halftime. Moses Ehambe scored 10 second quarter points, as the 66ers scored 35 points in the period on 12-for-18 shooting. The Skyforce scored 36 points in the up-and-down quarter on 14-for-21 from the field, as Williams led Sioux Falls in the period with 17 points.
The 66ers went on a 6-0 run to start the third quarter, taking the lead for the first time in the game at 69-67 after a Cecil Brown three-pointer. Brown led the charge for Tulsa, scoring 10 of their first 12 points in the quarter. The 66ers outscored the Skyforce 19-6 in the first eight minutes of the third period, capped by a three-pointer and a lay up by Ehambe. The 66ers held the Skyforce to 15 points in the quarter on 29 percent shooting, and headed into the final period with a 91-82 advantage.
Williams led the Skyforce on a 7-0 run to cut the 66ers lead to 91-89 with 10:33 remaining in the game. Williams scored 14 points in the fourth quarter, as the Skyforce outscored the 66ers 27-18 in the period, and headed into overtime tied at 109.
The overtime saw the score tied five separate times, as the Skyforce had an answer every time the 66ers scored a bucket, until the final two free throws by Skakur with seconds remaining secured the victory. The 66ers shot 53.4 percent (47-88) from the field, including 10-of-19 from three-point range, while the Skyforce shot 52.8 percent (47-89), for the game. Sioux Falls outscored Tulsa from the paint 66-48 in the game.
Led by Shakur, the 66ers moved to 12-9 on the season, and finished with five players in double figure scoring. Brown had 23 points and five assists, while Larry Owens added 19 points, four rebounds and four steals. Ehambe scored 19 points off the bench, while Deron Washington added 10 points. Chris Richard added a game-high 13 boards.
Williams led six Skyforce (11-12) players in double-figures with a game-high 43 points, along with eight rebounds. David Bailey added a double-double with 17 points and 10 assists, while Greg Stiemsma also had a double-double with 14 points and 10 boards, as well as five blocked shots. Raymond Sykes had 14 points and seven rebounds off the bench, while Brumbaugh had 12 points. Terrence Gamble finished with 10 points from the bench.
In a schedule change due to weather conditions in the Dakotas, both teams will match up in the second game of a back-to-back set tomorrow night at 7 p.m. in Sioux Falls. The 66ers game at Dakota on Jan. 24 will be cancelled.