Sioux Falls Skyforce Dust Tulsa 66ers
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It started as twelve. Then it became eighteen. Soon it became twenty-two. At one time it was twenty-nine. Sioux Falls was the “it” team on Friday night keeping it (the lead) at the Sanford Pentagon throughout the night as the Skyforce steamrolled Tulsa 111-91 in front of a crowd of 2,750.
Eight days prior, neither team was especially crisp on offense in the 82-80 overtime Tulsa (1-8) triumph. A 12-0 run for the Skyforce (5-2) was the harbinger for this contest as Tulsa could only muster a 6-2 run in response before another 10 straight essentially decided the game. The 66ers continued their struggles while the home team made more than half their shots from the floor. Center Justin Hamilton led Sioux Falls with 21 tallies courtesy of 9 of 10 shooting and close behind was former NBA veteran Bill Walker who blazed his way to 20 points on 7 of 9 shooting and 5 buckets from downtown. Charlie Westbrook efficiently scored 12 including a sublime steal and dunk in the first quarter.
Skyforce Head Coach Pat Delany was quick to point out that revenge was not on their mind after a poor performance last time against Tulsa. “We didn’t shoot the ball well down there. They beat us. The guys in our locker room are the focus and what we need to do as a team like continue to get better defensively by communicating, moving the ball offensively. We have enough depth and talent on this team to get it done.”
Tulsa’s lone bright spot came from the charity stripe with plenty of trips and makes, led by a perfect 8 of 8 for rookie Grant Jerrett who finished with a game high 23 points to go with 7 rebounds. Rod Bartholomew shook off a scoreless first half to finish with 12 points and 12 rebounds. The same two teams will meet again on Saturday night.