Skyforce Cruises Past Vipers in 130-109 Victory
SIOUX FALLS, SD - Behind six players in double-figures, the Sioux Falls Skyforce defeated the Rio Grande Valley Vipers 130-109 on Friday evening to win their third-straight home contest at the Sanford Pentagon.
Miami HEAT two-way player Gabe Vincent (23 points on 7-10 3FG) led the team in scoring for the first time since joining the Skyforce (13-14) on January 8.
Sioux Falls benefitted from a 14-5 start to the contest, which lasted until the 7:50 mark of the first quarter. The Vipers (10-20) settled in and ended the period on an 8-2 run but trailed by five-points at the break.
After shooting 5-of-8 from deep in the first quarter, the Skyforce struggled in the second, going 0-of-7 from three-point range before the half. Jaron Blossomgame (19 points and nine rebounds) had 17 points in the first half alone and helped Rio Grande Valley take the period by one point . However, Sioux Falls led 57-53 at intermission.
The Skyforce responded in the third quarter, scoring a season-high 46-points. Miami HEAT assignee KZ Okpala (21 points on 7-10 FG and seven rebounds) netted 11 points in the period alone to lead Sioux Falls. Okpala has now scored at least 20 points in two of his last three outings.
Houston Rockets assignee Chris Clemons (24 points) scored 10 points in the quarter, but the Vipers trailed the Skyforce 103-86 heading to the final 12 minutes.
The Sioux Falls defense was in full effect in the final quarter as the Force held Rio Grande Valley to 29.5 percent three-point shooting on 13-of-44 shots. Miami HEAT assignee Chris Silva scored seven of his 13 points in the final period. Silva stuffed the stat sheet, compiling six rebounds, four blocks and three assists in his Skyforce debut.
Jarrett Jack (21 points on 9-13 FG and seven assists) has now scored 20-or-more points in his last three outings and has led the team in assists for a seventh time this season. Mychal Mulder (16 points and 11 boards) secured his first double-double of the season and had a season-high in rebounding.
Houston Rockets two-way player William Howard scored 19 points on 7-of-12 shooting in the loss for the Vipers.
Both teams square off again on Saturday, January 25 (tomorrow) at 7:00PM at the Sanford Pentagon.
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