Tulsa, Okla., January 31, 2010 – Despite a team-high 22 points off the bench from Moses Ehambe, the Tulsa 66ers fell to the Sioux Falls Skyforce 113-106 Sunday at the Tulsa Convention Center. Reggie Williams of the Skyforce led all scorers with 25 points.
“I thought our guys played hard and gave the effort that we were looking for,” 66ers Head Coach Nate Tibbetts said. “Sioux Falls just got hot down the stretch and made shots to win the game.”
The Skyforce shot 53 percent (35-66) from the field for the game, while connecting on 34-of-44 free throws. The 66ers hit 45.9 percent (39-85) of their shots from the field and 18-of-24 free throws.
The Skyforce utilized five points from Williams during a 9-1 run that started the game, and then two free throws by Chris McCray pushed the Sioux Falls lead to 19-10 with 3:13 remaining in the first quarter. An Ehambe three-pointer sparked a 12-3 run for the 66ers that tied the game at 22 going into the break.
Ehambe scored 12 second quarter points, as the 66ers shot 50 percent (11-22) in the period. The Skyforce shot 57.1 percent (8-14) in the second quarter, led by Leemire Goldwire’s nine points, as the teams traded leads four times and had two ties. The Skyforce took a 50-49 edge into halftime.
Cecil Brown scored six points during an 11-2 run to start the third quarter for the 66ers, as they pushed out a 60-52 margin with 7:27 left in the period. But the Skyforce battled back with an 11-2 run of their own and led 63-62 with 4:14 left. Both teams traded baskets the remainder of the quarter, to the tune of 12 lead changes, until a break away lay up by David Bailey and another lay up by Alexander Johnson put the Skyforce in front for good at 78-73 headed into the final quarter.
A 9-3 run by the Skyforce, capped by a Williams three-pointer to start the fourth quarter gave Sioux Falls an 87-76 lead with 9:19 left in the game. Five straight points from Latavious Williams and a three-pointer from Ehambe got the 66ers to within three at 87-84 with just over seven minutes to go, but a Raymond Sykes put back and a Williams three-pointer pushed the Skyforce lead back to nine with 4:13 left and it was too much to overcome.
Led by Ehambe, the 66ers (13-12) had five players score in double-figures. Mustafa Shakur finished with his sixth double-double of the season with 21 points and 11 assists, while Cecil Brown connected on 17 points, including his fourth four-point-play in the last three games. Larry Owens had 15 points and five assists, while Chris Richard added 12 points and nine boards.
Led by Williams, the Skyforce (13-14) also finished with five players in double figures scoring, including a double-double from Johnson with 23 points and 11 rebounds. Sykes finished with 19 points and eight boards, while Goldwire added 15 points, both off the bench. McCray added 13 points and eight rebounds, and Greg Stiemsma contributed eight points and 10 boards.
The Skyforce travel to Idaho and face the Stampede on Wednesday, Feb. 3 before returning home for three games against Idaho, Maine and Albuquerque.
The 66ers head out on their longest road trip of the season, as they will go to Utah to play the Flash on Feb. 3 and 5, Bakersfield on Feb. 6, and Los Angeles on Feb. 8 and 10 prior to the NBA All-Star break.