66ers Halt Skyforce

Box Score

TULSA, Okla., January 10, 2014 - The Tulsa 66ers topped the Sioux Fall Skyforce, 99-92, on Friday night behind 27 points and five rebounds from Mario Little. The forward shot 10-for-15 from the field, including 7-for-10 from three-point range.

Andre Roberson, on assignment from the Oklahoma City Thunder, posted 12 points, five rebounds, four assists and two steals in 40 minutes. Reggie Williams added 19 points, six rebounds, three assists and a pair of steals.

The 66ers produced their largest rebounding margin of the season, outrebounding the Skyforce 52-34, including 32-16 in the second half. Eight 66ers grabbed five or more boards.

After being outrebounded in six of their first 10 games, the 66ers have pulled down as many or more rebounds than their opponent in nine consecutive games, a factor that head coach Darko Rajakovic says the team has worked hard to improve upon.

“At the start of the season rebounding was one of our problems and has become one of our focuses and points of emphasis in the past few weeks,” said Rajakovic. “Especially tonight with Andre Roberson, we had a good opportunity to rebound against this team. I think that we did a good job.”

Tulsa (5-14) fell behind 38-32 midway through the second quarter before closing out the first half with an 18-11 run to take a 50-49 lead into the intermission.

Sioux Falls (11-7) came out of halftime on a 10-2 run to reach their biggest lead of the night at 59-52. Trailing 64-58 with just over seven minutes left in the frame, Tulsa held the Skyforce to two field goals in the remainder of the quarter and outscored Sioux Falls 19-7 during the stretch.

The Skyforce fought its way back in the fourth quarter, tying the game at 83 with five and half minutes remaining. The 66ers responded with a 9-2 run to put themselves up six and led by four or more points the remainder of the night.

Rajakovic says that’s Tulsa’s ability to hold off Sioux Falls in the final quarter is a sign of the 66ers’ progress.

“We lost a couple of games earlier in the season late in the game and our confidence was not at the highest level,” said Rajakovic. “Those guys are working really hard and improving from week to week. It’s what we’ve been preaching from the start, that they need to be working hard and continuing to get better and better every day. All the rest will fall to the right place. We are now starting to see the evidence of that hard work paying off.”

The Skyforce was led by Justin Hamilton’s double-double performance of 20 points and 11 rebounds along with 18 points from Henry Walker.

The two squads face off again Saturday evening inside the SpiritBank Event Center in the second game of their weekend series. For ticket information, visit Tulsa66ers.com.