Maten, Skyforce Cruise to Fourth Straight Win
SIOUX FALLS, SD - Miami HEAT two-way player Yante Maten (32 points and 10 rebounds) tallied his second-consecutive 30-point double-double as the Sioux Falls Skyforce (4-0) outlasted the Northern Arizona Suns (1-2) for a 109-99 victory on Wednesday night at the Sanford Pentagon.
Jawun Evans (18 points) scored 11 points in the first quarter as the Suns got off to a fast start, shooting 65.2 percent and leading the Force 33-27 at the break. The Northern Arizona momentum, however, was soon put to an end by a staunch defensive stand by the home team to close the half. As a result, Sioux Falls managed to take a 58-52 lead into halftime.
A balanced offensive attack that saw seven players score in double figures helped the Skyforce outlast the Suns in the second half. Raphiael Putney (15 points) was the Force's second-leading scorer behind Maten's dominant performance, while Rodney Purvis (14 points) and Malik Newman (12 points) combined for 26 points off the bench in the win.
Phoenix Suns two-way player George King tallied the Suns' only double-double with 21 points and 10 rebounds on the night, eclipsing 20 points for the second time in three games this season. Phoenix Suns assignee De'Anthony Melton was held in check for most of the game, managing just 12 points (5-11 FG), one night after recording his first-career triple-double.
Charles Cooke III (11 points) scored in double-figures for the second time this season in what was his first start for the Force, while DeAndre Liggins (11 points) and Briante Weber (10 points, eight assists, four rebounds and four steals) rounded out the notable performances on the night for Sioux Falls.
The Skyforce will look to build on the team's early success on Saturday, November 10 as the team hosts the Wisconsin Herd (1-1) in what will be the last of a three-game home stand. Sioux Falls' four-straight victories mark the franchise's best start to a season since 2012-13, when the Force won five-straight to begin the campaign.
The Suns continue their three-game road trip, paying the Austin Spurs (0-1) a visit on Friday, November 9 in what will be the team's third road game in four days. Northern Arizona then returns home to take on the Santa Cruz Warriors (1-0) for the second time this season on Tuesday, November 13.
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