Force Fall Flat
The first ten games of the season showed a ton of promise with 4th quarter rallies for wins and three tough late losses for the Sioux Falls Skyforce. Game eleven showed no resemblance of past performance as the bottom-feeding Iowa Energy toppled Sioux Falls 102-80 in NBA Development League play on Christmas Day.
The game started with Iowa exacting an 11-2 run, however Sioux Falls closed the gap to 25-19 at the end of one quarter. Hassan Whiteside was a beast off the bench in the second quarter with 9 of his 17 points scored mostly on spectacular dunks helping forge a lead for the home team. With the game tied at 49, the Energy ripped off 8 straight points and went to the locker room up 55-51. The 3rd quarter was the money frame for the visitors as the Energy dealt a 22-6 run that essentially determined the outcome. The telling stat for the game was 22 turnovers for Sioux Falls with 11 for Iowa which allowed the Energy to get 13 more shots.
Iowa did a fantastic job of swinging the ball to open teammates for good looks, most notably Paul Harris who went for 34 points and 11 rebounds. Four other players tallied double digits in scoring as Chris Wright pumped in 17 points with 11 assists and Ben Strong struck for 11 counters and 14 rebounds. The Skyforce were led in scoring by Mark Tyndale with 19 markers and along with Hassan Whiteside’s 17 points he pulled down 15 rebounds. Andrew Goudelock and NBA assignee Arnett Moultrie each got 13 points.
Both teams will have back to back games at home this weekend. Sioux Falls hosts the Maine Red Claws at the Sioux Falls Arena, while Iowa hosts the Los Angeles Defenders Friday and Saturday.