January 22, 2006 - American Basketball Association (ABA) - Minot Skyrockets
San Jose CA. The ABA San Jose Skyrockets earned a two game split with the Florida Pit Bulls with a 100-89 victory at the San Jose Civic Auditorium. Both division leadeers battled again for the second consecutive night, but this time the Skyrockets were able to hang on to the late charging Pit Bulls.
Once again San Jose sped off to an early first quarter lead by building a 20-9 lead with 5:43 to go. Guard Matt Leudtke sparked the Skyrockets with 14 of the 32 first quarter points including three 3-point field goals to build a 32-24 lead.
The second quarter was a little different story. San Jose led at half time 51-47 but was outscored 23-19 as the ever-aggressive Pit Bulls defense kept them in the game. The third quarter saw a balanced San Jose scoring attach with six different players scoring and Lamar Castile hitting on 3 long range 3-pointers. The Pit Bulls continued to stay close though and trailed 80-71 despite San Jose opening its largest lead up to that point, 80-67 with 1:10 to go in the quarter.
The fourth quarter was another beauty. For the second straight night it looked as though San Jose would pull away for a comfortable win by building its lead to 86-72 with 9:20 to go in the game, but the Pit Bulls closed the margin to 89-87 with 2:19 remaining. However, with 35 seconds left in the game, San Jose's Rock Winston made his first free throw, but missed the second. Winston then charged down the middle of the lane to tip in his missed shot to put the Skyrockets in the lead 94-87. Todd Okeson sealed the victory with two clutch free throws and 22 seconds left.
Florida's Tim Hardaway was not the factor he was in the first game but still managed 15 ponts while playing fewer minutes. Marcus Barnes was the scoring leader for the Pit Bulls with 19 points. San Jose once again had five players scoring in double figures. Luedtke led all scoring with 21 points. There is no rest for the two teams as they fly back to Florida for two more games on Monday and Tuesday nights.
For more information, visit www.sjskyrockets.com, www.floridapitbulls.com or www.abalive.com.
Note: OurSports Central no longer actively covers the American Basketball Association (ABA) as a professional league due in part to its inability to publish and play a schedule and the transitory nature of many of its teams. For information on professional minor leagues, please see OSC's basketball section.