SIOUX FALLS, S.D., Feb. 19 – The Sioux Falls Skyforce defeated the Dakota Wizards 119-118 in overtime on Friday night at the Sioux Falls Arena. Dakota overcame a four-point deficit with 13 seconds to go in overtime to lead by one point but Raymond Sykes saved the day as he put back a missed shot by Reggie Williams just before the final buzzer.
Dakota led by as many as 14 points in the first half but Sioux Falls cut the deficit to six points (56-50) at halftime. Sioux Falls outscored Dakota 29-20 in the third quarter behind 11 points from Williams to take a 79-76 lead heading into the final stanza.
After trailing by six points in the early stages of the fourth quarter the Wizards tied the game at 91 apiece on a 3-pointer by longtime nemesis Maurice Baker. The game was tied five more times in the final five and a half minutes with the final tie coming after a lay-up from Cory Underwood with 19.2 seconds remaining in regulation. Williams had a good shot to win the game in the final seconds but it rimmed out and the game headed into overtime.
Sioux Falls scored the first seven points of overtime and appeared to have all the momentum but Dakota cut the lead to one point (116-115) following a 3-pointer by David Bell with 13 seconds to go. After Williams made 1-of-2 from the charity stripe, Bell hit another 3-pointer to give the Wizards a 118-117 lead with 5.9 seconds left. Williams missed a tough shot in the lane but Sykes took advantage of his only offensive rebound of the game and scored to help the Skyforce win their sixth game in their last seven outings.
Williams led the Skyforce with a game-high 36 points on 14-of-19 shooting from the field including 5-of-7 3-pointers. Alexander Johnson posted his fifth double-double in seven games with 19 points and 14 rebounds off the bench. Leemire Goldwire scored 17 points behind five 3-pointers and Sykes added 15.
Romel Beck paced the Wizards with 30 points while Bell added 21 points including a perfect 5-of-5 from downtown. Curtis Withers recorded his seventh double-double of the season with 20 points and 10 rebounds.
The border rivals face off again tomorrow night at 7 p.m. CT. The nationally televised game will air on VERSUS at 11 p.m. CT.